Alpha Light.

When two people decide to meet, fall in love and eventually make a commitment to one another and live their life together in unionized bliss, there are some compromises that each individual must make to make the life they build together an enjoyable experience for all involved. One must agree to take out the garbage, the other must be giddy about laundry, one must agree not to spend money wildly, the other must agree to earn money wildly. Together, through discussion, rationalization and compromise, these two people because a beautiful couple that live happily ever after. However, there is one thing that Earl and I refuse to compromise on.

Christmas lights.

You see, growing up Earl and I were both the designated Christmas light caretakers for our respective families. I’ve always been fascinated about Christmas lights and fully believe that you can never have enough. Twinkling lights, large lights, small lights, it doesn’t matter. As long as I can safely connect 25 sets together in a snow storm without getting zapped, I’m happy. I might blow up the local power plant trying to Griswald the house, but by gosh it’ll look good when it’s done. I think it goes without saying that when it was time to decorate the Christmas tree during my youth, I was called upon to sift through, arrange and install the Christmas lights.

It appears that Earl had a very similar experience growing up. He doesn’t get all Griswaldy about it though. While he was in charge of the lights, he prefers to do it in his general manager of a corporation like way; he’s very methodical with the way the lights are to be arranged on the tree.

He starts at the top.

I start at the bottom.

He winds counter-clockwise.

I wind clockwise.

The only thing that we’ve been able to agree upon with Christmas lights over the years is that the older style lights are far superior to what’s been appearing on store shelves the last few seasons. I’m not a big fan of the jeweled lights. I don’t care for the buttons or the icicles or the two-tone lights that seem to include brown. The LED lights do nothing for me. We do agree that lights should compliment the tree, not overpower it.

Last night we decorated the Christmas tree and surprisingly it was good. To keep peace, we started at the top of the tree but we both held the lights together as we delicately installed them on the artificial branches. (Don’t get me started about that).

Maybe we’ve found that compromise after all.