A few weeks ago I saw signs around the neighborhood advertising professional holiday light hanging and installation. Before I could get a picture they were replaced by signs for professional gutter cleaning which seems like a bit of a letdown.
Part of me thinks that at least part of the point of having holiday lights on your house, and also part of the fun, is putting them up yourself. Then again that may not be everyone’s idea of fun. When I was a kid I begged my parents to decorate our house with lights because I loved riding around seeing other houses that were brightly lit. Finally my father got a few strings of candy-colored lights he draped around the holly bushes at either end of our house after Thanksgiving and I realized having holiday lights outside your house isn’t that exciting when you’re inside and can’t see them. Also we lived on a cul-de-sac so the only people who’d see our lights were our neighbors and people who’d taken a really wrong turn. Also they were one more thing that had to be put into storage at the end of the holiday season and, unlike the decorations inside the house, required going out in the cold. Strings of holiday lights also get bored during the almost eleven months they’re packed away so they spend the time wrapping themselves around each other which is why they always have to be untangled when it’s time to bring them out again.
That’s one reason I’m not going to criticize people who hire professional holiday light installers. The other reason is, according to their website, their introductory price starts at $699.00, and anyone who’s paying that much just to get holiday lights installed for, at most, two months, can afford not to care what I think.
Also really do I like the idea of giving people who want to put up lights but who, for whatever reason, can’t do it themselves a professional option, and it makes me appreciate those who do it themselves—there’s one house I drive by on my way to work that always has an inflatable Santa and an inflatable Hanukkah Bear. At least one night in December my wife and I will also make a couple of mugs of hot chocolate and drive around looking at different decorations. The professional ones may look a bit more polished—every string perfectly placed around the eaves with nothing dangling or irregularly draped around an untrimmed bush—but every one will still be slightly different.