Traditional Christmas Rip-Off

A cold, dead Christmas light hangs on the narrower of our two artificial trees in the garage this morning.
A cold, dead Christmas light hangs on the narrower of our two artificial trees in the garage this morning.

No one will deny that A Charlie Brown Christmas, which Abby and I watched last night, was right on the money about Christmas being trivialized and commercialized. It’s easy to imagine the corruption of this beloved holiday as a latter-day event, A Charlie Brown Christmas was first broadcast in 1965.

I put together a very nice-looking Christmas tree, despite my cynicism about its origins.
I put together a very nice-looking Christmas tree, despite my cynicism about its origins.

Commercialization of things we loved as children is never new in a capitalist/mercantilist society. The only thing to do is hold in your thoughts what is truly meaningful about Christmas. For me, in all honesty, Christmas is about photography and not much else.

One thing about Christmas that irks me to the bone (how’s that for a mixed metaphor?) is how utterly crappily-made Christmas stuff is. Fake trees, toys, garland, lights, decorations, etc., are all cobbled together with the frailty of an injured baby squirrel. The margin must be incredible; do you think $1 worth of Christmas decorations cost even 1¢ to manufacture?

I think about this because for the second time in seven years, I am having to remove the lights on a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree because the wiring and rigging is so flimsy that when I plugged this one in today, none – NONE – of the lights came on. No amount of jiggling or twisting or plugging-and-unplugging of bulbs made any difference. It’s dead.

The commercialist answer, of course, is to buy a new one, but you know what? I already showed up once with my money. I’m not buying another $129 piece of plastic crap.

I plugged in a bunch of strands of LED Christmas lights, and they mostly still worked because I bought most of them in the last year or two.
I plugged in a bunch of strands of LED Christmas lights, and they mostly still worked because I bought most of them in the last year or two.
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2 Comments

  1. Yes to all this.

    Anecdote: some families in my neighborhood now decorate outside for ALL holidays — including lights: red/pink for Valentine’s Day, red/white/blue for July 4th, etc.

    I am tempted to one-up them by installing permanent, hardwired LEDs around the eaves of my house — the color-changing kind. They can be white most of the time, for “security”, and then I could change the color with a remote for any holiday… LOL.

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  2. Now you’re scaring me. We caved this year and bought a pre-lit fake tree because I just could NOT string lights again. It never occurred to me that it will break one day, but if it does? New tree. Sorry.

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