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Leave Your Lights On

Energy prices are on the rise, and we’re constantly reminded of climate change—as I write this, wild fires are burning in Australia. Is it possible that leaving your Christmas lights up is worthwhile?

When the clocks fell back in early November, the darkness signalled that winter was coming. We protected our plants, raked leaves, took in the patio furniture and scrambled to get those exterior renovations done before the snow flew. In time, strings of colourful lights started popping up on houses and trees to festively decorate our windows and yards. These lights give a sense of hopefulness while we prepare for what many consider a pretty bleak season. They remind us of time spent with friends and family, gifts exchanged and meals shared.

Now, the holidays are over and tradition bodes that the lights and decorations get removed by Old Christmas Day, January 6th. In the same way the colourful houses add cheer to our usually drizzly and grey city, what if leaving Christmas lights up can add some brightness to an otherwise dark time? Twinkling spots illuminate public space. Lit up streets are safer for dog walkers, early morning runners and late night stumblers.