This afternoon I took my first step towards decorating for Christmas by stringing outside lights. Rocky is against the idea of making any permanent alterations to the house to allow for decoration, meaning no nails, staples, or hooks. When you combine that with my how miser like I get this time of year to ensure Christmas bills don't become New Years bills, we put up very few lights. I have two sets of netting lights and 2 more regular strands plus a wreath. It took me all of ten minutes. As with many holiday rituals, it brings childhood memories to the front.
When I was little we didn't do the outside light thing. One year my mom decided to replace all of our old multi colored tree lights with the clear kind. My brother and I ganged up and convinced her to let us use the old lights to decorate outside. We did all the work ourselves other than the wiring it took to plug them into an outlet. I was so proud of those lights. The second day when we plugged them in we noticed a very odd change. All of our pretty multi colored lights were now clear. We had been the victim of a completely senseless crime! Who would take off one set of lights and replace them with others that are exactly the same except for the color? At some point deductive reasoning kicked in and we figured out that what had actually happened was that our old light set was not meant to use outside. The color had been painted on, and when a little rain shower came through in the night, it had washed all the paint off.
I still get tickled thinking about those few confusing minutes it took us to catch on to what happened. I also can't help but wonder how long it was before my mother realized that she could have just washed the lights to start with instead of buying new clear ones. I'm glad she didn't know before hand because then I wouldn't have one of my favorite Christmas memories.