Why Turn off the Lights When it’s Darkest?

Photo by Nathan Arrington.

Over the weekend, GM finally took down his Christmas tree and chucked it to the curb for pickup. Many would surely laugh that it was still up at all. And the ease with which each branch snapped suggested that the tree would agree with that assessment.

GM grudgingly agrees that explicitly Christmas decorations like a tree or a creche should probably come down in January. GM doesn’t agree with the people who completely de-Christmasify December 26th. But, sure, a rapidly drying Douglas fir should probably not still be inside come MLK Day.

But what about all the lights? It mystifies GM that when the days are at their darkest, we pull down the wonderful twinkling lights from off our houses. The end of the holiday season is far from the end of the grimly short days and early nightfalls. It is still very much a time when cheerful lights on railings and outdoor trees should be guiding us home. And yet we generally go dark at the same time nature does.

So let this be GM’s modest proposal: Sure, take down that fire hazard of a tree. Store away the animatronic Santa Claus. But please leave up the little incandescent (or LED) strands of joy a little bit longer. Spring is not that far away, but it’s still not here yet. Shine a light in the dark days before it arrives.

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