Christmas lights. The argument each year is, “It will be fun. The grandkids love it. People like seeing the lights when they drive past”. 

So out come the plastic tubs full of coiled up strings of lights. There is every imaginable colour and combination. It is a pure, unadulterated festive overdose of colour.

It is also a pure, unadulterated twisted mess of frustration. But hey, who wants to be the Grinch….?

So, out come the tubs, and the joyful process begins. When I bought the 30m long lights I thought it was a good idea. I am now reviewing that position. They prove so much harder to unravel than the 5m versions but at least they will go further along the front fence. And they do! But they come with a decision… Do you start at one end and have to pull 30m of twisted up lights through as you wind them around the wooden fence rails, or do I start in the middle, and then pull 15m of twisted up non-compliant lights in one direction, and 15m of said painful lights in the other direction.

Each time I try to twist the green thin wires and mess of bulbs through, they get caught up and catch on each other, the fencing wire, or just anything else they come in to contact with.

Job done. Lights hanging off the entrance and across the front fence rails to the house block. Lights hanging from the guttering around the house. Lights planted throughout the gardens. A laser display light flashing colour across the front wall of the house. It looks like the Griswald Christmas (Think Chevy Chase) is on again this year!

As night falls, lights begin to turn themselves on. Solar panels have done their job during the day colour begins to emerge from the falling darkness. We have ten acres of blinking colour slashing the darkness. All except one side of the front fence. Ya gotta be kidding me… 😱

Is it the lights, the solar panel, or a loose wire? Did one of the grandkids mess up something… No, wait. Did I turn it on??  I can say with some certainty trying to read the writing on the back of a small black solar panel upside down in the dark is difficult. Back to the house, grab a torch, back to the front fence.

In the end, I gave up. Back to Bunnings, and a new string of sparkling, coloured frustration was purchased. Unwind from the fence the old, and in-wind (I think I just made up a word) the new spangly creation with their inbuilt timer and six different light functions. 

It is a sad world when even Bunnings Christmas lights are smarter than I am! 

So the festive season has begun. As drivers emerge from the pitch blackness of the forest and head up the hill, they are blinded by a Fantasia of lights. It is like encountering a flying saucer, such is the halo of brightness. It basically stabs you in the eyes as you drive toward our farm. Job done then!

To be honest, watching the grandkids run around placing lights in the gardens, whilst the adults climbed ladders to hang up ‘waterfall lights’ off all the guttering was a lot of fun. It’s harder to get to sleep because the sun never sets, but apart from that, it brings people together. 

That’s my prayer for this Christmas for you and your families. That this Christmas may be a time of being together. A time when Christ is real in your lives.

The lights were just an excuse to spend time together. Find an excuse that works for you and your family this year.