christmas is over, but we’re leaving the lights


Journalist Nancy Nall had an interesting proposition on her blog the other day. I’m not sure she’s even adhering to it (sounds like her husband is a hard sell), but she suggests that we take down the obviously holiday-related Santas and such, but leave the lights up to get us through this bleak time of year. She explains:

The idea is to say, Christmas is over and we’re not going to depress anyone by leaving Santa on the lawn until April, but it’s a long few weeks before we start to see anything approaching the softer light of spring, and so we’re going to let the candle of civilization burn in the dark a while longer. Until Valentine’s Day, say. Who’s with me?

I am, Nancy! I am! The tree is long down, the wreaths are retired, the Rudolphs are packed away for another year. But the blue and green twinkle lights above our deck? I’m calling them “outdoor cafe chic.” The pink lights by our front door? A salve against winter’s chill. Anyone else? — Mary T.

From our partners

i’m in!! :)

I love that idea! January is such a bummer of a month..

Yup. And I’d go so far so to hang in ’til the vernal equinox!


I 2nd Jen’s statement. They are lights – nothing necessarily Christmas about them. Many towns put them in their trees all year long for charm (but when the trees have leaves it’s kind of pointless). With the early darkening and abundance of deadness around during winter, little lights keep the blues away.


Yay, Mary. I love the little lights all year. Very Magnificent Mile.


I am *all for* twinkly lights being up in January, but I think this only works if you are talking about lights you have in your home. The ones you put outside, on your porch or front yard or whatever, for benefit of brightening up the neighborhood, look Christmassy no matter what. But if you have lights in a jar, or on a ficus tree, or wound around your stair banister, that’s lovely! That’s so beautiful, especially in January! I wish I had some around here myself.

You do, of course, have to take my comment against outdoor lights with a grain of salt. I live two doors down from a woman who outlines her front yard in eleventy billion bare-naked bright white bulbs just before Halloween, and lights them all night, every night until sometime after St. Patrick’s Day. It’s like living next to a runway, which is the complete opposite of twinkly and festive.

we still have up the lights around the stair banister outside. They are too nice to come home and see in the dark seattle evening after work.

plus, i have so far been too lazy to take them down.


We have lights up year round in our carport and our side patio. Our (very) elderly neighbors across the street love them and have offered more than once to pay for our electric bill. Ours are about 1″ globe lights so they don’t ring of the holidays. Year round outdoor lighting is common where we live though (Gainesville, Florida).


That’s one of the reasons I love the city where I grew up and still live: They put strings of small white lights in all the trees lining the main drag (King Street) from the Masonic Temple to the Potomac River (a little over a mile). Even on the bleakest of nights and in the early morning commute, it’s a cheery sight.


Kaja Foglio, author of Girl Genius, was just saying how happy she was people in the valley below her house still had their lights up.


Exactly what I did last year — kept up the tree after taking down the ornaments. It really helped to fight the darkness last winter, and I seem to be doing it again this year.

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