McGee: Christmas lights make town sparkle

By Grant McGee: CNJ columnist

The joke goes, “You know you’re from New Mexico if you leave your Christmas lights up year round.”

No worries about that around our house; The Lady of the House had Christmas packed up a couple of days ago, lights and all.

“That’s it,” she said, smacking her hands together. “A fresh, clean start to the New Year.”

Early in our relationship The Lady of the House nixed the idea of having year-round Christmas lights at the Stucco Hacienda.

“It’s cool, it’s artsy, it’s festive!” I said.

“Christmas lights are for Christmas, that’s what makes them special,” she said.

I thought about a place I once lived. “They had colored lights strung across the main street and they’d close it to traffic on summer nights and have dances…”

“Christmas lights are for Christmas.” The Lady of the House was standing firm.

I’ll miss the Christmas lights. From the most simple, like the tiny lighted wreath on the door of an apartment facing the town’s main drag to the huge displays of lights smothering houses. From those blue-white lights that look like icicles dangling from the roof to the light-lined homes you can see from the highway. Goodbye to the luminarias lining driveways and buildings, those beautiful lights that seem to be the soul of a Southwestern Christmas.

Some lights I won’t miss. You’ve probably seen the display I’m thinking of: White and red lights are arranged so that it looks like a reindeer has been hung from a tree and field-dressed. These people may be pals to the folks who have the lighted Santa Claus who is relieving himself off the top of their house.

When I win The Big Lottery I’m going to buy a town and leave Christmas lights up year round.

That’s if I buy a New Mexico town.