10 November

Sources of light

If you use Christmas lights, it’s a good time to review your stocks of them. Let solar lights sit in the sun for a full day to see if they’re still good to go and, if they’re not, try putting a fresh rechargeable battery in.[1]

If you do have dud lights, I’d like to say that you should repair and re-reuse them but I think this is only practical for hobbyists who are happy to spend time tinkering.[2] If there are gaps in your ensemble, you’ll easily find what you need on the shelves in the shops. They certainly won’t be at their cheapest yet but they will be fully stocked so if it’s important that you get a specific kind of light, and money is no object, shop now, but if you want to save money, either wait until the prices drop (in mid December) or re-do your decoration plan to take your limited supplies into account.

And remember – the only green way to do Christmas lights is to not do Christmas lights at all.

Let there be lights.

Christmas Day 1970: After tea, the children were put to bed in waves: Felicity was only two so Auntie Betty took her family home to their farmhouse as soon as the dishes were done and it felt as if Christmas was winding to a close. (On other days, I may have felt a little sad at this point. On Christmas Day, my blood-chocolate levels were so high that I was incapable of registering sorrow.)

[1] I wish the same trick worked with people: one of my colleagues has been listless and weary for a while and I’m not sure if I should suggest a holiday, a counsellor or a big steak.

[2] My old neighbour Gustav used to salvage old Christmas lights from the hard garbage and then he would repurpose all the little LEDs into panels to light up his garage. (It was the most Christmassy thing he ever did.)

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