White lights or colored lights?

November marks the time of year when hundreds, even thousands, of dutiful folks actually vote. So I think it’s the perfect time to settle a long-burning issue: white lights vs. colored lights for the holidays.

Before you know it, the Thanksgiving dinner will be just a tryptophan memory, and the seasonal tradition of hanging the lights will be upon us.

Of course, there are those who refuse to follow light protocol. You know the parties to which I’m referring, with their lights hung neatly and twinkling the weekend after Halloween. These scofflaws are beyond hope, no matter what kind of lights they display. Can’t we just admit once and for all that we secretly despise them?

History offers an answer to holiday decorating dispute

But for the rest of us, pulling out dusty boxes from basements, attics, and garages, the battle soon begins. For some, it may be one that rages on the home front. I, for one, think the light choice should be included on the marriage questionnaire, under the heading “Christmas,” along with such gems as, “Real tree or artificial?” and “Marshmallow topping or pecans on the sweet potato casserole?” Many couples could have nipped a yuletide disaster in the bud if they had tackled these hot-button topics in premarital counseling.

Or perhaps you live in one of “those” neighborhoods where the pressure to conform to the lighting mandate is unbearable. Again, would it be so hard to add a decorating clause to a home-selling contract? If there were a Section 24A, for example, that stated, “Does the buyer agree to place battery-operated candles in each window that faces the street, and maintain said candles for a duration to begin two weeks prior to Christmas and not to extend past New Year’s Day?” then you could leave the signing in a huff, thus saving years of arguing with your uppity neighborhood association.

But no, every year we must fight the lighting war anew and draw our lines of tangled strings around the tree and across the lawn, so to speak.

This year, however, thanks to Albert Sadacca and a bit of history, I can settle the white lights vs. colored lights controversy once and for all.

Young Albert is often credited with the invention of Christmas tree lights because he developed lights that were within reach of the regular guy’s wallet. Unfortunately, when Albert made his first strings of lights, they were clear bulbs, and the poor kid sold only 100 sets.

Undeterred, Albert had the brilliant idea to paint the bulbs different colors, and business brightened considerably. In fact, his company was the largest Christmas lighting company IN THE WORLD. At least until 1965.

Albert’s tale undeniably answers the question of which lights are the best. It also proves that I am, once again, right. Sadly, it does not address all the psychological implications of the white lights vs. colored lights choice. That’s a mystery to be solved later.

For now, I have a large bin of red, blue and green lights I have to get strung before the kids find the clear lights hidden in the Easter decorations. Let the games begin!