Enjoy Christmas As If You Were A Child

I doubt any kids read this blog.  While I think many of the topics that I talk about should be taught to kids (staying out of debt, paying credit cards, saving responsibly), I don’t write it to where I think kids would want to read.

That being said, this post is directly for kids…the one inside each and every one of you.

Christmas is next week and regardless if you celebrate that as a holiday, the time of year and the holiday spirit should be alive and well.

Unfortunately, I think many of us get so caught up in the ‘things to do’ regarding Christmas and the holidays, that we forget to actually enjoy the time.  Think about that for a second.  We do all these things to make it a great holiday: Decorate, Buy Presents, Wrap Presents, Pay For the Presents, Make Cookies, Gather the Family and all the other things.  We do all that and we get so consumed with it that we forget to actually enjoy ourselves.

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The Outdoor LED Lights Look Great!

Since we moved into our house, we enjoy putting lights outside on various trees and bushes in the front of the house, as well as the deck railing in back.

This year, we completed the transition to LED lighting for the entire outdoor set of lights!  I’m happy to say that we like it a lot.  As an added bonus, our next door neighbors do their garage, trees and bushes in the same style of lighting so we inadvertently created a ‘double dose’ of lighting.

It was a ‘long’ road to get here, relatively speaking.

In 2008, we had no plans to get up and do any shopping on Black Friday.  However, for reasons I can’t remember, we were both up around 5am.  I decided to go look at the sale ads and found that the KMart ad contained a great sale on LED lights.  We agreed that since we were up we’d go there, as well as to a couple of other places.

KMart had multi-colored LED lights, for which we bought seven sets or so at a good price.

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The LED Christmas Light Issue

We do some lights on the outside of our house, in the bushes and around a big tree in the front yard.  We have been interested in converting to LED lights, and I decided to look and see if this could be the year.

I am a little concerned with everything that I found.

While we ended up getting lights, there still seems to be a lot of barriers to get lights into peoples hands to realize the energy savings that everybody talks about.

Here are some issues I see with LED lights:

  • Availability – At almost every store I went to, I saw shelf after shelf of ‘regular’ lights, but very little space dedicated to LED lights.  I saw signs at a few stores promoting the virtues of LED lights and how they could lead to 80% savings over traditional lights.  Yet, in most cases, regular lines of LED bulbs were sold out.  This is the third year I’ve gone on a quest for LED bulbs and I was not impressed with their availability at all.
  • Price – When there were LED lines available, they were very expensive.  When stores do offer them at discounts, you can go right back to the availability discussion because they’re usually gone the first day.  So, your choice becomes to look for the lines at $7, which are always gone, or pay $19 for the same line.  I think it would take a lot longer to make that extra $12 back in energy savings, so people just forget it.
  • Look – This is the first year I’ve seen white lights that aren’t those awful blue shade.  It looks like technology is finally getting there to offer traditional white lights that can save money.  Of course, their limited availability meant that they were priced even higher than regular lines.  I think it will be another two or three years before you actually see these.

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Is It Too Early For Christmas Decorations?

Now that Halloween is over, it will be full force in terms of stores selling their Christmas decorations.  Many other bloggers have been reporting seeing them even earlier, as early as September and early October.

Personally, I don’t have too much of a problem with seeing the decorations out early.

Why?

mb-201011villageMost stores that sell Christmas decorations use the same space that they sell summer items such as gardening, fertilizer, etc.  Those spaces typically involve a lot of floor space, as do Christmas.  Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations typically wouldn’t involve that much space, so rather than have to place filler (as well as tear down displays after a short time anyways, why not start putting stuff up early?).

I also don’t mind it because I’ll often take a look through the displays if I’m in a store for ideas on things that I might want to buy or need for decorating.

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