Have Americans Gone too far with Christmas Lights? #Christmaslightwars

Image courtesy of creative commons license via flickr.com by terren in Virginia

I used to look forward to driving home from Grandma’s House at Christmas time when I was a child, to be able to see all the pretty Christmas decorations and lights on our way back home. I remember oohing and gaping every time we passed another decorated house. Nowadays, the homes are a hit or miss. They are either undecorated because no one can afford the light bill or they are over decorated and look gaudy awful and too bright for the eyes to behold.
For instance, in the article, Christmas Lights ‘on Steroids’ Bring Parking Headaches to Dyker Heights, parking is limited even more because of the draw the Christmas lights have on crowds to the neighborhood. (SCHWEBER, 2016) I wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood where the annual Christmas light contest was taking place. First off, I wouldn’t want that light bill nor to waste that much energy on an over-decorated home. Christmas is much more than decorated homes with giant live Christmas trees. I also wouldn’t want to deal with the traffic or know that thousands of tourists are coming to my neighborhood to see a dazzling light display. The traffic is bad enough on my street, more cars and trucks mean that I would need to turn up my television so I could hear it over the traffic.
When we decorate for Christmas, we put up the yearly artificial tree. We did do the live tree for a few years, but then the cat discovered pine tea and knocked the tree over multiple times trying to get that last sip of water out of the bottom of the tree stand. When we switched back to the artificial tree, the tree stands unharmed.
Sometimes we put up a string of lights at the front door with a pair of candy cane lights. This year only the Christmas Wreath decorates our entry which does not mean I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit; it just says we intend to stay within our budget and finish the year on a positive note.


SCHWEBER, N. (2016, December 2). Christmas Lights ‘on Steroids’ Bring Parking Headaches to Dyker Heights. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/nyregion/christmas-lights-on-steroids-bring-parking-headaches-to-dyker-heights.html



Friday Write on my #PersonalValues #Challenges

Valued Blog Post of the Week!

I’m giving myself a writing challenge for the next three months. I will pick a personal value as part of a writing exercise as an experiment to see how the topic affects my daily stress level.

Friday write-in


Picking a personal value


“Pick one value and write about it for ten minutes. Describe why this value is important to you. Write how you express this value in your everyday life, including what you did today.”[1]



Image courtesy of creative commons license via Flickr.com by Doe Zantamata and Unsplash



Challenge – a call to take part in a contest or competition, especially a duel, or calling for special effort.









We all have specific values that have become a part of our personality over the years. Those values are not something that I have given much thought to until recently. Another of my values is a that of a challenge.

I love a challenge but within reason. When I say this, I mean a problem that can be met within reason. If I were to stand no chance against the competition, I would give up trying before the competition would even begin. For example, I was never a long-distance runner; a marathon would not be a contest within reason. I know my limitations. But, if I could compete against my self for a better time in a marathon I would accept the personal challenge as a doable test to see if I could beat my best time. If I could beat that time, I would have a sense of accomplishment.

Earning my degree gives me a sense of challenge especially with the online courses since for much of the time, I must answer my questions through research. To top off my challenge, I have dared myself to get the best grades I can get with the hopes of acquiring scholarships to help pay for my education.

Challenges at work are keeping a machine running when the material is being problematic, which was my challenge for the day. Another challenge is meeting a shipping deadline at the last minute.

Setting goals is a great way to create challenges, but if the goal is set too high the challenge will never be met, and self-doubt will kill all effort.

Management professionals should give this some thought when asking employees to take on a new job function. If the initial production goal is at a reasonable level so that the employee can meet the goal, they will begin to develop confidence. Raise the goals slowly but never entirely out of the person’s reach, unless the manager does not want that employee to improve on the job and build on their confidence that leads to higher production and quality. I would hope that manager would not kill the development of a strong work team by making their workers feel inadequate to do the jobs asked of them.

People can be challenges. Understanding the different personalities, cultures, values, and morals. Everyone is raised differently and when there is a mixed culture in the workforce personality challenges can appear. Such a challenge can be overcome as workers begin to learn to accept each other’s differences and identities.

My favorite form of challenges is learning. Education comes in many forms. Learning is not just reading, writing, and arithmetic. There is learning a hobby. I’m a self-taught knitter, crocheter, quilter, sewer, and writer.

Most of all, challenges inspire me to be creative.



McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress. New York: Avery, 2016.


[1] (McGonigal 2016, 72)