An unwanted pubic opinion:
Don't get me wrong, I hate the whole Christmas scam as much as the next person does. I whole heartedly disagree with Christmas carols taking over my favorite radio stations for the later half of November and the entirety of the next month. I hate the fact that stores start selling Christmas junk the week of Halloween and I certainly don't feel the need to rush out to the store to stand in line for ten hours at 3am the day after Thanksgiving (seriously- what's wrong with you people?)
No, I don't buy into any of that. But there is one Christmas tradition that I'm ok with: lights. Not that they should be displayed in stores in October or light up a house so brightly you have to shield your eyes to drive by it (circa National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, an excellent movie). And not that neighbors having contests over which idiot spent the most money to have the most ridiculously elaborate light display is a good thing. But lights in and of themselves are great.
Why? Because it's so fucking dark outside that if you don't have some lights in the landscape the suicide rate (which is already pretty high this time of year) would probably jump even higher. I never signed on for this whole daylight savings thing and I personally wouldn't mind not losing an hour of sleep in the summer only to have it artificially given back in the fall. And why is it, by the way, that if i'm getting an extra hour of sleep I lose an hour of my day?
Before the whole 'fall back' thing the sun started going down earlier and earlier, but at least I had a chance of seeing it set when I walked out of work at 5pm. Now it seems the only time I get any sun is on the weekends. My ten minute drive into work in the morning does not provide me with nearly enough sunlight and when I step out after 5pm now the sun is long gone. Not because it's going down that much earlier but because 5pm is the old 4pm and the sun doesn't give a rat's ass about daylight savings time.
So, I guess, really the solution is to get rid of daylight savings time. (The farmers can keep their own time system, if they want, just leave the rest of us alone.) But, in lieu of that, Christmas lights.
In the trees, on the fence, in the windows, wherever. Put up as many snowflakes on the light posts as you want. Display as many Christmas trees as you have. Throw in all the menorahs and Kwanzaa stars as you can get your hands on cause there's too much damned Christmas stuff in the display anyway. Just make sure it's all well lit.
In the same simple-minded way that dragons like sparkly things I am a fan of lights. They're pretty and they make the painfully black night a little more bearable. So put 'em up as early as you want, and leave them up well into the new year. Cause it's a long, dark winter and we need all the light we can get.