Porch Lights

My family has the kind of front porch all good southern homes have. It wraps all the way around from one side of the house where the kitchen spills out onto a wooden deck, then merges into a long, narrow strip that runs the front of the house, and finally turns another corner to end with a door that leads to the garage. It is a hefty front porch, but we use every square inch of it every single day. We eat there on the broad slats of the wooden deck, we socialize there on the narrow strip that has the front porch swing and several rocking chairs, and we even set up a cornhole game tossing bean bags from one end to the other.

But there is one drawback to have a nice big porch. With long front porches come great lengths of icicle lights. I used to protest loudly as a kid when Mom told us to haul down boxes of tangled strings of festive cheer from the attic and hang them around the front porch, but it became a tradition I looked forward to when would I leave PCC for Christmas break.

Christmas Lights on campus is fabulous. We finally get to see what Grounds and Maintenance crews have been slaving away at during the wee hours of the morning, the Spirit Singers lift our hearts in festive cheer, we snuggle down on blankets to watch the campus come to life, and the campanile is nothing short of fabulous. But nothing quite beats putting on your own Christmas light show, even if it does involve teetering at the top of risky step ladders, lugging heavy boxes down attic steps, searching for evasive blown bulbs, and unweaving millions of miles of knotted light strands.

The end result is worth the work because when the sun goes down, the electronic timers switch on, and the shivering trees in the front yard are suddenly blanketed by a warm glow that seeps over bare twigs, refracts on sparkly frost, and pours down each front stair to spill over the front drive, I already start looking forward to doing it again next year.

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