David Trinko: ‘Tis the season for Christmas lights displays

First Posted: 12/14/2013

The outdoor Christmas lights at our house drive me nuts.

We have pine roping with miniature white lights above the garage, with a lighted wreath hanging just below the roof’s eaves. Atop our front porch, snowflakes with white lights hang, fading in and out slowly in sequence. The white pillars of the porch have red fabric twisted with lights, resembling a candy cane. Our front bushes have carefully laid-out strands of miniature white lights.

It’s really quite beautiful. It is classy, elegant and timeless, sort of like I envision my family to be.

Until you see that silly deer.

The deer is a new addition to our display. It’s a white frame of a reindeer, with bright LED lights in it. While those LED lights might be more energy efficient, they just don’t match the color of the old-school miniature white bulbs we have everywhere else.

It replaced a blow-up Santa sleigh I won at a Christmas party raffle a few years ago. I also hated that inflatable, for the same reason: It just didn’t go with the rest of the display. The wires pulled out of the plug last year — that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it — so it’s dangerously useless now.

Our display and how I react to it says a lot about me.

As The Lima News launches its annual Christmas lights contest on LimaOhio.com today, I couldn’t help but wonder what types of displays our readers will share online. (You can get right to the photo sharing part of the site on your computer or mobile device at j.mp/limalights.)

I can’t help but wonder what people’s outdoor lights displays might say about them.

I drive past one house daily with a tree lined with big bulbs in traditional colors, heavy with reds, blues and greens. Perhaps they’re very traditional. Or perhaps they’re really cheap and haven’t replaced their decorations since 1968.

Then I see a home lit up completely with those bright LED bulbs. They’re obviously on the forefront of technology and ecological conservation. Or perhaps they grabbed the first boxes of lights they saw when they walked into the hardware store.

There are people with inflatables in their yards, with Santa, a snowman or a reindeer with a hunting rifle waving in the breeze. Obviously they’re fun characters. Then you see the people who have lots of inflatables in their yards, and you realize their children have them suckered into getting one more every year.

How about the home with no lights? Must be a Scrooge, right? Or perhaps they said, “I’ll do it this weekend,” only to find half a foot of snow and 15-degree temperatures greeting them Saturday afternoon.

I enjoy people who have a Nativity scene in the yard. It shows they understand the real reason for the season. Then you see the Nativity scene with Santa kneeling by the manger. I must reread that part of the Bible, as I just don’t remember that scene.

I see many homes marking the edge of the house in lights. They’re going for a simple look, perhaps? Or maybe they’re a wannabe architect, showing where the support beams are.

Some people like to painstakingly wrap every branch of a tree with lights. I suspect they also enjoyed mapping the circulatory system in health class.

Others light up their yards as if it’s a commercial airstrip. I suspect they’re still waiting to win that lawsuit that Clark Griswold violated their intellectual property in 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Whatever your style, I hope you share your photos on LimaOhio.com so others can see your handiwork (and play amateur psychologist). We appreciate your efforts to put us all in the holiday spirit.