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I’m not putting up Christmas lights this year. Bah! Humbug! Actually it’s not that I’m a Scrooge, it’s just that putting up Christmas lights lowers my I.Q. by a good ten points. I’m a pretty laid-back kind of guy, but there’s something about hanging Christmas lights and you’d think I was trying to tackle some impossible math problem and I’m not that good at just regular everyday math.

Putting up Christmas lights also puts a big, fat dent in my chances of going to heaven and the problems all start the minute I bring down the lights from the attic. Now, last year when I took the lights down, I wrapped them carefully around a long, cardboard tube. Now, just one short year later, it looks like a pile of electrical spaghetti. Just for a point of reference, that would be Linguini, not Angel Hair.

It usually takes me a good thirty minutes of just trying to find the ends of that jumble of wires and -now somewhat worse for wear, faded Christmas lights- by the time I’ve found them, I have uttered such phrases that I’m going to have to ask for a bulk discount next time I go to confession. Every December the priest sets aside some extra time to hear my confession. I swear, last year, I think he took his lunch in there with him.

Now all that untangling and swearing is just the prelude to war. When it comes to attaching the damn (See? My language is getting worse just writing about it) things to the house, well, let’s just say I’m not exactly Bob Vila. Yes, anyone can nail lights to a house, but I do it with such panache that the neighbors come out to watch the show. They don’t allow their children to watch because of the language. I can even get pretty descriptive when I express what I wish on the person who made those lights. Sorry, Inspector 35, it’s nothing personal.

Let’s talk about ladders here. Why were all ladders made for level ground? Have you ever once gone to use a ladder outside and encountered level ground? Each leg should be completely adjustable just to accommodate that giant oak tree root right where you need to put the ladder. And, by the way, if that top step isn’t a step why the hell is it there? Of course, it’s a step. Granted, it’s a life threatening step, but how else are you going to reach that eave to drive in those three or four nails. I say “three or four” because that how many it takes me to actually drive one in far enough to hold the lights. The others fly out and away the first time I smack them with my $5.00 hammer. I had an ex-girlfriend who knew how to use tools and work with lumber and such. She was always criticizing my lack of carpentry skills. I am to carpentry what the Kardashian’s are to rocket science.

Once the lights are up and shining, It usually takes me a few minutes to wind down. I generally need a nap and a bowl of Wheaties after tackling such a project. Then, as I stand out in the yard admiring my handi-work, the thought comes to me: In a few weeks you have to take them back down or be “that guy that leaves his lights up all year.”

Well, this year I say, “Bah! Humbug!” I’m going to put a lawn chair out in my front yard and watch my neighbors lose their souls putting up lights. Who knows? Maybe I’ll learn some new words for when I tackle my next DIY project.

And that, my friends is why I'm not putting up Christmas lights this year. Besides, there's no room for them with all those Halloween decorations up there.