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: Mr.Light.com, Holidayleds.com, and Christmaslightsetc.com. And here’s a cool site that sells solar powered lights – Solarsanta.com.
By the way, if you see any tacky, tacky LED lights, PLEASE let me know where to find them!
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