Memories of Christmas Lights Popping


This time of the year always brings back such fond childhood memories for me.

I feel very blessed in having parents, who took great pleasure in seeing that their children always had a magical Christmas.

Our home was always alive and festive with decorations, records playing, food cooking, and lot’s of company.

However, one of the things that did NOT thrill my father about this holiday, was having to hang Christmas lights on the outside of our house.

First of all, no matter how careful we were in packing them away from the previous year, the strands of lights always came out of the box tangled in gargantuan KNOTS.

(this is when I first began to hear the expression “SHIT!”)

And after the painstaking process of detangling, we would stretch each strand out on the lawn and then plug them in to check for any BAD bulbs.

Since my father didn’t own a staple gun, each strand had to be hammered around the window panes and the along the edges of the house, using treacherous-looking nails that resembled vampire fangs.

My dad also had a fear of heights, so whenever he had to climb the ladder, he would always get this wide-eyed panicked look on his face and start to whistle Frank Sinatra songs. Whistling always meant that he was about step foot on a ladder.

But like the devoted father that he was, he would reverently make the sign of the cross, start whistling…and proceeded to climb the ladder.

My job was to stand below the ladder and hold it firmly, so it wouldn’t wiggle.

After all the lights were hung, we’d go in the house and wait. And as soon as it got dark…the whole family would run outside and stand at the edge of the driveway, as my father turned on the Christmas lights from a switch inside the foyer.

And as the house was lit…

We’d all start jumping up and down; clapping and screaming.

What a RUSH!

This is one of those memories that even till today, makes me smile.

It was an awesome Christmas moment.

However, I would also like to share another Christmas memory of something that I did as a child, just because I was bored and felt like being bad.

Sometimes while my parents were out for the evening, I would sneak over to one of the neighbors' homes and hide in the bushes until I was absolutely sure no one could see me. And then using my mittens, I proceeded to unscrew Christmas bulbs from all over the outside of their house and stuck them into my coat pockets. After I got a substantial amount, I RAN back to my house like some kind of x-convict.

And this is the best part….

I would take each bulb and throw it high into the air, and then wait in glorious anticipation to hear it hit the street and POP!

POP!…POP!…POP!

It was so much damn fun, I can’t even tell you!

They sounded like gun shots.

But sadly…

…those were the years I received only COAL.






30 comments

  1. Hey Ron!

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas joys- both the good AND the bad--- You're bad, you bad boy!! I know why you got coal those times!!!
    I LOVE Christmas lights, though we don't put them up here- there's no room for anything here in our apt.
    The years that I had a tree... I always enjoyed putting them around the tree and seeing them all lit up! There's nothing more beautiful at Christmas time than multicoloured, blinking lights!!!
    Thanks for sharing, Ron, and have a nice week.
    Hugs, Leese

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  2. Ron, you thief and juvenile delinquent you! Bad Boy!! I hope you went to confession for your sins. Didn't you think "I better be GOOD for goodness sake?"
    Shame, Ronnie, Shaaaaaame! ROTFLMAO

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  3. Ah HA!

    I wondered who did the bulb stealin'.....now I know....

    <-- is the official ladder holder for the light stringing Brit.

    *rolling eyes* Cuz he wouldn't want me hurt if I fell from the ladder....

    WHATever...

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  4. Yes, that does sound rather naughty ~laughs~. Perhaps you should have asked Santa for your very own set of gunfire Christmas lights.

    On a side note, it always amazes me that people put up Christmas lights every year - then after the season, they take them down. We leave ours up all year long. Maybe it's because it gets so cold here or perhaps we're just a lazier bunch of people.

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  5. Bonjour Leesa!

    I know...aren't I BAD??

    I feel like I should be singing that Michael Jackson song BAD...and doing the moon walk!

    HAHAHAHHA!

    I deserved COAL!

    Hey, it's the same with me, Leesa...I don't put up any lights up in my apartment either. I do have an adorable little Christmas tree with miniature ornaments that decorate each year. I decorate very lightly in my apartment, because like you...it's very small.

    Thanks a bunch for dropping by this morning, my friend!

    Hope you're feeling much better and enjoying your Monday!

    X

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  6. Aloha Debi!

    I know...

    ...I think I actually saw a "mug shot" of me in the post office."

    WANTED: "CHRISTMAS BULB STEALER and POPPER"

    WARNING: "THIS KID IS BAD!"

    Oh heavens no, I never DID confess that sin, now that you mentioned it!!??! Which is probably WHY Santa gave me COAL!

    HAHAHAHHA!

    Always VUNDERBAR seeing ya, Deb!

    Hope you're having a great Monday!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sincerely,
    Bad Boy Ronnie

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  7. Morning Mel!

    YES....it was ME!

    I would occasionally travel the world during the holidays when I was a kid, and randomly select a state to POP Christmas bulbs!!!

    HA!

    OMG, Mel...I bet your house looks FABULOUS during Christmas!!!

    I can't wait to see the photos of your festivities!!!

    Will Studley be involved too?

    You could always put a big Santa hat on him and call him a Christmas spider!

    Tee, hee.

    Happy Monday to ya, Mel!!!

    Hope you're feeling much better!

    Thanks for dropping by!

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  8. Howdy Deranged Princess!

    OMG, that's FUNNY!

    Gunfire Christmas light!!!

    DAMN...now THAT would be the BOMB!

    HAHHAHA!

    Hey...I know of several people who leave their Christmas lights up all year too!!

    I TOTALLY see the logic!

    And I've also seen an occassional home that actually turns the lights ON throughout the year!!!

    FESTIVE!!!

    Always fun sharing with ya, DP!

    We seem to think alike!

    Have a MARVI Monday!

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  9. My favourite memories from the Christmas season also involved the lights dad would put up outside.

    I just loosened them so they would wonder which light had gone bad :)

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  10. Oh you were a very, very, naughty boy! LOL

    What lovely memories you have.

    My Mum & Dad always made the house look like Santa's Grotto! In fact, even at 84 Dad still makes his little bungalow look like that for the grandchildren. Such a magical time! :)

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  11. OMG Anndi!!!

    That is SO FREAKING FUNNY!!

    And so cleverly LIBRA!!

    Weren't we such bored children??

    Our brains were always thinking, "Ok...what can I do now, to create HAVOC???"

    For me, anyway!!!

    Thanks for dropping by, Anndi!

    HAPPY MONDAY to ya!

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  12. Good Afternoon Akelamalu!

    Just call me...The BAD SEED!

    HAHAHAHAA!

    Oh, that's sounds so WONDERFUL about your dad decorating his bungalow for the grandchildren!!

    I bet it looks like a little Gingerbread House!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas memories, dear lady!

    I could FEEL your magical enjoyment!!

    HAPPY MONDAY!

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  13. I still say..I wish your family had adopted me!!!
    I can't believe you stole lights..eh, eh, eh.
    I have to confess something..the gun shot sound reminded me.
    My siblings and I would go after dark to a church by the railroad tracks.
    It was a holiness church so we loved listening to them "get it on" in there! They had a tin roof...and those heavy railroad rocks were perfect to throw. Yep..especially on Xmas Eve when our own family sucked! The rocks sounded just like gun shots. We hid in the woods near by watching the men run outside trying to see what was going on.
    We finally stopped because they yelled out in the darkness that they were going to call the sheriff's dept.
    I feel bad about it now. :O Might be a good thing we did not grow up together..we might have really gotten into trouble! :)

    LY!

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  14. HOLY SHIT Gypsy-Heart!!!!

    That was HYSTERICAL!!!!

    As you were telling the story, I could actually SEE everything happening!!!

    DAMN....I wish to hell I had been there with you guys!!!

    That sounded like something I would have LOVED to do!!!

    I'll tell ya, my grandmother (not the wicked one) always told my mother that I had a bit of the devil in me! And she was RIGHT!!!

    I can ONLY imagine if you and I had grown up together as friends...

    ...we would have been the next Bonnie and Clyde!!

    And how FUN that would have been!!!

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful childhood memory, dear friend!

    It was SO enjoyed!!!

    Happy Monday to ya!!!

    X

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  15. LOL at 'Bad Ronnie'

    We don't put lights on the house - my son has a real thing about heights plus there are bushes all around the front so Lord knows a ladder is a problem

    we do put lights on all the bushes and around the fence - I will confess - I always have extra strands each year so that we can just toss a bad set

    wasteful - yes!
    keep us for having an arguement - yes!!

    that way we can save the argument for the tree - it's a tradition

    congrats on your Martini Toast

    Diane has great taste :)

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  16. OMG RON!!! We're TWINS in different countries!!!! My hubby has a small table top Christmas tree and every year we take it out and decorate it with his and my ornaments... I used to collect really cool ones at places like Cost Plus and Pier One Imports but here in La France, the same exact style and make are like 10 times MORE expensive.... We're going to Strasbourg for the BIG HUGE Christmas market there so we'll pick up some from there... I LOVE Strasbourg!!!

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  17. Wonderful Christmas memories Ron. Thanks for sharing. And weren't you a bad bad little boy!!
    We have an unofficial tradition every year when we put up our Christmas tree involving the tangled lights and it so funny!!! My husband sets it up in the stand, we bring all the decorations up from the basement, and then he has a major meltdown, every single year. I mean major!! We all just sit back and laugh at him.
    He gets so mad trying to untangle the strings of Christmas lights. I mean, REALLY mad!!! He stomps around, throws them on the floor, says some really bad words. His face gets all red, he starts sweating. It is hilarious. And eventually, every single year, he gets mad enough, throws the lights in the trash and heads out to the store and buys new ones.

    Now I could be a good wife and get in there first to untangle the lights. Or I could buy one of those special thingies to wind the lights on so that they don't get tangled. Or I could have already bought some extra lights ahead of time.
    But the kids and I LOVE to watch him throw his annual Christmas tantrum about the Christmas lights!!!! I am evil, I know.

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  18. HellooooooDianne!

    Thank you so much. That was so sweet of Diane. I'll tell ya...I was deeply touched by that!

    And OMG you're FUNNY because I'm with YOU!! It would have been so much easier to just TOSS the bad sets away and buy new ones!!!

    I feel that way about cloths too! Do you remember back in the late 70's early 80's when PAPER clothes came out??? I personally think all clothes should be disposable! Or better yet...RECYCLABLE!

    GO GREEN!

    HAHAHAHA!

    Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

    Hope you had an awesome day!

    ooooh...and aren't you LOVING this COLD weather we're having???

    It finally feels like WINTER!!!!

    X

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  19. Bonjour again Leesa!

    That's a RIOT!!!!

    OMG...we ARE twins!!!

    I honestly ENJOY the smaller trees, because they're so intimate and cute!

    Oh boy...don't you just love Pier One Imports??? When I lived in Florida, it was my favorite place to buy candles and scented things for my apartment. They've got the greatest smelling stuff! Good music CD's too!

    Your trip to Strasburg sounds delightful! I wish I could go with you guys! I bet the ornaments are so unique!

    HAVE FUN!!!

    Thanks for stopping by again, my friend!
    X

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  20. HOLY SHIT Nicole!!!!

    THAT WAS HYSTERCAL!

    And the WAY you described it...I could actually see it happening!!

    Damn, that was funny!

    This year you should video him and then play it on one of your blog posts!!!

    And what's REALLY funny, is that your HUBBY sounded just like my DAD each year!! It freaking PISSED HIM OFF to have to untangle those lights!!

    SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!

    That's all we ever heard!!

    Hey...and you're not evil, because I would LOVE to watch his reaction TOO!!!!

    Thanks a bunch for sharing that great story, Nicole!

    Absolutely BRILLIANT!

    It's so great seeing ya! Hope all is going well and that you're enjoying the holiday!

    We FINALLY got some FREEZING temps. Just a little snow, not much, but I hear we're getting a lot this winter!

    YEPEE!

    Enjoy your evening!

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  21. Hey Ron....

    I can't wait to get back to Strasbourg JUST to have that wonderful pain d'epices (it's gingerbread) but soooo totally diff. from anything in the States... You would love it!! Anyhow... I will think of you when I have some! I will take a picture of the tree once it's up!!
    Take good care and I can't believe it's already the big COUNTDOWN to Christmas... Today is Alex's bday!!
    Take care-- Leese

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  22. Oh! Ron! you were a horrid child! I love you even more. :)

    Your story reminds me of one of my favorite movies, "Christmas Vacation."

    I hope you have an explosive Christmas this year!

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  23. Hi Ron,
    My God; you were both the angrel AND the devil !!
    That was so cute to share your memory about your Dad. I can almost see a miniature version of Ron steadying the ladder and reassuring Daddy.
    Awhhh...

    But then... stealing the light bulbs and opping them on the ground ! Did you ever get caught ??
    Lil devil !

    Thanks for sharing these stories, Ron. What would be Xmas without those memories ?
    Hugs to warm you in chilly Philly ;)

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  24. Bonjour Leesa!

    ooooh....ooooh...GINGERBREAD???????

    Ok...I'll take 2 pieces with a cup of STARBUCKS, please!!!

    HAHAHAHHA!

    No...I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Gingerbread. Especially this time of the year, ya know? It feels so holiday-ish!

    Can't wait to see the photos of Stratsburg!

    Yes...can you believe it's already the 9th of DECEMBER??? Starting next week, I'll be working non-stop until Christmas day!

    OY!

    Tell Alex I said HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Thanks for stopping by, Leesa!

    Enjoy your day!

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  25. Howdy Sista Nitebyrd!

    Why do I have the WONDERFUL feeling, that had you and I grew up together....we'd be DEVIL CHILDREN???

    HAHHAHAHA!

    Hey, I've never seen the movie Christmas Vacation, but other people have mentioned it too. That must mean I should rent it this month.

    Will do!

    Hope you're having a great day!

    Thanks for dropping by for a little Christmas mischief, dear lady!
    X

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  26. Bonjour Barbara!

    HA, HA, HA....wasn't I like THE BAD SEED???

    I was an angel with horns!

    tee, hee!

    Actually, my father and I WERE very similar. Not only did we look alike, but he had a bit of the devilishness in him too! And I also shared his fear of heights!!!

    I never actually got caught dong this, but I can't help to think that SOMEONE looked out their window and saw me when they heard the lights POPPING!!!

    They probably just thought..."Oh that's they BAD Ronnie again!"

    Thanks for stopping by this morning, Barb!

    And YES...it's SOOOO cold right now in Philly, but I love it!!

    "It's the MOST wonderful time...of the year"

    Have a GREAT day Barb!

    {{{{{Barb}}}}}

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  27. Ron I just received a letter and in it was this hilarious photo of a house with a BIG BALL OF MANGLED, KNOTTED holiday lights (all in one big ball mind you)- the whole mess of it just swinging in the breeze over the door of the house - connected by one cord to the power outlet. And the note read,

    "Yeah so... when do y'all want me to come on over and string up your lights for you?".

    I immediately thought of you. Many blessings dearest! Happy Lighting! TEE HEE

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  28. Hello Sibyllae!

    OMG!!! That's HYSTERICAL!!!!

    I wonderful if the photo was taken back in 1969 in a suburban town in Pennsylvania????

    Did you notice a man WHISTLING???

    HAHAHAHAHA!

    Thanks for dropping by, Sib!

    ALWAYS a great treat!!!

    Enjoy your day!
    X

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  29. ronnie sweetie...you kill me. haha. I loved the story about you and your dad. I giggled just thinking about you holding the latter as he hung the lights. What's funny is I knew when the neigbors were putting up the Christmas lights when I could hear the dad say...SHIT!

    The prnce and I put up the Christmas lights this year. It was fun. My girl read me the riot act. I could have fallen she said. My cousin put them up last year for me...the latter went out from under him and he fell. Luckily he fell on a big bush.

    hehehe...I wanted a present so I didn't misbehave so close to Christmas. I was caught eating Santa's cookies by the prince more than once. He used to say I was getting black rocks for Christmas, but he meant coal. hehehe.

    I loved your post ronnie...it brought out the holiday cheer for me. Thank you ronnie...I do heart you hard. I always walk into your blog ready to laugh and smile...and I do always. I always feel wonderful and better.

    Ciao my dear friend and thank you for sharing your wonderful story.

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  30. Happy Holidays Miss Jones!

    Oh..you WONDERFUL mother you!

    How BRAVE of you to climb the ladder!

    BRAVA!

    I bet your house looks so festive!

    Oh...but you BAD girl for eating Santa's cookies!

    And did you ever end up getting those black rocks?

    Tee, hee.

    But ya know what????

    I use to do the same thing to my brother when I got older!

    But I mean, come on....somebody had to it, right???

    HAAHHAA!

    My parents were so FABULOUS when it came to the holidays. They truly went WAY out to make everything special. I feel so blessed!

    Thanks SO MUCH for dropping by this evening, my friend. You're so sweet!

    And later, when I drink my glass of red wine...I'll cheer you!

    Ciao bella!

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