Green Tacky, Tacky

December 7th, 2007

I left small town New Jersey years ago to fashion myself a Washington DC sophisticate. Prior to kids, I had largely succeeded, at least until the Christmas season rolled around and my true roots were revealed: New Jersey through and through. You see, in Jersey, Christmas means Christmas lights. Not the tasteful white lights that women who read “Southern Living” string up alongside beautiful displays of greenery. Christmas means big, honking, obnoxious, “tacky,” as my British DH would say, BIG LIGHTS like at the “Elvis House” in Mahwah, New Jersey and the Koenig Christmas House in Lodi, New Jersey, which features 43,000 lights synchronized to music and a bowling Santa scene.

I tried to explain to DH that next to those crazy light shows, our display of a towering eight foot tall inflatable Santa, blinking choo choo train, miniature lighted Santas up the front walk, and Rudolph (of course), accented by tasteful Southern Living-esque white icicle lights along the front of the house was positively modest.

What I never realized as I amassed that amazing collection of Christmas lights at various post Christmas close-out sales was that unlike the fine New Jersey lights of my youth, these were designed for built-in obsolesence. There’s no way to replace the bulbs, and besides, now that I’m more energy-aware, I felt a bit guilty of an eco-sin.

So tonight we trudged out to Target to get some energy-efficient LED Christmas lights. Regrettably, LEDs are seriously lacking in the tacky department. We did manage to find some multi-colored big bulby looking lights for the house and a rounded Merry Christmas sign, but I had to pass on a replacement choo choo train, Rudolph, and mini-Santa lights because they were none available in the LED section. What’s more, the multi-colored LEDs were nearly sold out. There were plenty of those bright blue LEDs that hurt your eyes when you look at them.

If you need to replace your old energy-hogging incandescent lights with energy efficient LEDs, you better get right to it, because the stores are selling out of them. Here are a few online sources for LEDs:,, and And here’s a cool site that sells solar powered lights –

By the way, if you see any tacky, tacky LED lights, PLEASE let me know where to find them!


10 Responses to “Green Tacky, Tacky”

  1. MamaBird on December 8, 2007 8:20 am

    SNOMG! I so share your love of the big colored blinkers. And MY British DH is also really really enamored of tasteful tiny whites. Sigh. We went LED this year too (Home Despot, they are almost out too) and had to get medium whites (all they had, he was spared). I too am very desiring of bigger, colorful, BLINKERS! Love this post. Thanks for the online links too. You read my mind!

    Thanks, MamaBird. I was a bit worried about going public as a tacky NJ Christmas person, but I guess the ultimate compliment is my Jewish girlfriends still love me and just shake their heads! — Lynn

  2. sher on December 8, 2007 10:16 am

    hehehe, as a fellow small-town jersey girl, i hear you on the lights front. i never put them up (being a red sea pedestrian), but i always loved to walk around my neighborhood each year to see who put up what. i still get excited when i see lights on houses.

    as an aside, we just returned from disneyworld. they invited this arkansan, a mr. osborne, to bring his lights to disney. apparently, mr. osborne was reported to the authorities because his display was so huge that he apparently lit up most of arkansas. i would tell you that i’m shocked a regular person would put that amount of firepower on his home; frankly, i don’t know *how* a person could fit all of what he had on a single family home.

    but man, it was cool 😉

    Cool, Sher, thanks for checking in. I knew you were from Jersey – I thought about you when I was writing this! What a great story re Disney. — Lynn

  3. An LED Rant, Warning and Recommendation at OrganicmaniaOrganic Mania on December 10, 2007 9:22 pm

    […] at the Green Tacky, Tacky home front, we were quite content with our new environmentally friendly LED lights procured from […]

  4. Organic blog review - December 2007 | Organic Guide on December 20, 2007 9:17 pm

    […] some, it isn’t really Christmas until the lights come on. In her post Green, Tacky, Tacky, Lynn from Organic Mania proves that when you’re from New Jersey, you need some serious lighting […]

  5. Alex Johnson on December 21, 2007 3:33 am

    Hi Lynn

    Great writing. I enjoyed this post immensely! Keep up the good work…

    Cheers, Alex

    Thanks so much, Alex. You made my day! You’ve got a great site, too. BTW, I love Oz. I was there in ’97…hope to go back some day. — Lynn

  6. The Last Word on Green Tacky, Tacky at OrganicmaniaOrganic Mania on December 22, 2007 9:42 pm

    […] it’s been two weeks since I wrote about Green Tacky, Tacky and asked my dear readers for tips on where to find tacky “green” LED lights like choo choo […]

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