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Green Christmas

Jeff Linamen

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IMG_0708Decorating for Christmas has always been a challenge here at my house. In order to do it right — I need to start in October. Trees in every window, lights outside– it’s a challenge but I love every minute of it.

As a kid, I was decorating my room as far back as I can remember– starting with an old silver tinsel tree that was a hand me down from an uncle. I’d swipe a few ornaments from the family tree, made ornaments with my grandma, and found bits of tinsel here and there to make things merry and bright. I’d even rescue live trees, carelessly discarded the day after Christmas, drag them home, sneak them in my room and decorate them all over again… sure to be on display until the needles dropped. One year I even tried to spray paint a long-dead Christmas icon, only to have the few remaining needles cascade on the floor.

When we became the proud owners of 321 Division Street, Christmas became an even bigger obsession. I spent hours and hours decorating– every year trying something new. There have been displays better than others and some years more conservative than over the top. Every year has been a new, highly anticipated challenge.

IMG_0692This year, Michael made me promise to go simple. Well, actually he said, “We ‘re not going to be home for Christmas this year so no need to decorate.” That was months ago– and halfheartedly agreed. EXCEPT… well, 1) It’s me. 2) It’s Christmas. 3) We don’t leave until Christmas morning.

Needless to say, the halls are decked and trees are twinkling.

IMG_0451The big difference this year? I went GREEN. Not the color, I went eco friendly with all LED lighting. The technology uses only a fraction of the energy (up to 90% savings) but comes with an initial price tag common to new technology. I’ve added a few stands of LED lights the past couple years and watched for pre and after Christmas sales allowing me to reach this point. One frustration: I’ve already noticed the quality of the light strings (the wire) aren’t any better than the traditional lights so I seriously doubt any of them will last the purported 20 years.

I found some color changing landscape lights that I focused on the house itself which adds tremendously to the atmosphere. It creates a big impact with little effort. I simplified the number of lights on the porch and found battery operated LED candles that come on are go off automatically after five hours, for all the windows. Everything else is on a remote for easy on/off on a nightly basis.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the look and the energy savings is certainly a plus.

Of course I’m already looking forward to next year– and pulling out all the stops.

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