Family life

How to get out of shopping for Christmas lights

After running into a few decorating issues, Jennifer decides that nothing says Christmas like a pink flamingo on your roof.

By Jennifer Pinarski
How to get out of shopping for Christmas lights

Nothing says Christmas like a pink flamingo.

My husband and I have never agreed on how to decorate the outside of our house for Christmas. When we lived in the suburbs, I wanted a tasteful, magazine-worthy display of lights that would make Martha Stewart envious. We looked through magazines and I pointed out the houses I wanted to copy. Then I gave him a stack of Canadian Tire money and sent him shopping. He came home with boxes of flashing neon icicle lights that I’m sure are the reason our neighbours put their house up for sale. They flashed so much that I actually got headaches and my husband’s Ukrainian styling was the punch line of every Christmas decorating joke (he out Griswolded the Griswolds).

Last year in cottage country, we offended only deer and not an entire city block with our Christmas lights.

Three weeks ago my husband announced that he no longer liked our current collection of Christmas lights, and wanted to buy new ones to put up at the front of the house. Dreading what he’d pick out if left on his own, I insisted on going along on a shopping trip for new lights. I was surprised when he chose a lovely set of soft purple, green and blue LEDs and bought what we both thought were enough. Unfortunately, there were only enough to do half of the house, which he discovered in the middle of hanging them up.

You’d think that with Christmas decorating in full swing, finding enough lights to finish the project would be easy. It wasn’t. Each day I was tasked with finding more of the same colour of lights. And for the last three weeks I went to every hardware store, general retailer and craft store in a 50 km radius of our house and they are sold out everywhere. I even came home one night with peppermint mocha Kahlua as a peace offering. Nope, I needed the lights.

I was feeling awfully Scrooge-like after that and told him that I’d try one last time to find matching lights.

Sensing my frustration, he decided to give up on those purple, green and blue lights and told me to pick out something nice — but not multi-coloured. Or green. Or red. This new light request I got as a text message while standing in front of a mile-long display of lights in Canadian Tire with a cranky toddler pulling every single box of pink lights off the shelf.

Pink is not green, right? Or multi-coloured? Besides, pink is my favourite colour.

Into the cart went several boxes of pink lights and, for good measure, a light-up pink flamingo with a jaunty little Santa hat. I mean, nothing says Christmas like a flamingo. I put up the lights that night and the flamingo is nesting happily on our roof.


And I’m pretty sure I’ll never get asked to go light shopping again.

Have you run into any holiday decorating issues so far? How did you resolve them?

This article was originally published on Nov 28, 2012

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