Pure White C6 Strawberry LED Lights

Ode To Dad

Dads Socks and ShoesAnd he said , “LED there be light,” and there was light. Bright, beautiful, energy-efficient, full wave, rectified LED light. The “he” is our father. Not “Our Father”, as in thou art in heaven, but rather “our father”, as in the guy who is the master of corny jokes and embarrassing clothing. Case in point, his iconic shorts with birkenstocks and black socks ensemble. Fortunately, on this particular day, the weather didn’t cooperate with dad donning that lovely look, but it did call for his vintage, all-in-one, too-tight snowmobile suit (no, the man has never been on a snowmobile—don’t ask). He is standing on the snow-covered front lawn, staring at his latest Christmas display. Dad is laughing at his little play on words. “LED there be light. Get it kids? These are LED lights and “led” sounds like “let” so it’s funny.”

“Dad, it’s not funny if you have to explain it. We get it. We get it. Can we please go inside now and watch the game?”

It was a week after Thanksgiving and just like the year before, and the year before that, and so on and so on, we were EXPECTED to assemble in the yard to view his latest and greatest Christmas display extravaganza. And each year, it got more ridiculous. Our dad was a lighting maverick. He had been placing glowing objects in our yard and on our house ever since, well, ever since my siblings and I can remember, and the oldest is pushing 56! It all started with a string of cloth cord, green ceramic C7’s, that my dad formed into the shape of a Christmas tree, by strategically positioning huge nails in the side of our house. No, my mother was not happy.

Nutcracker Lawn DisplaysAmong the items in my dad’s vast arsenal of Christmas display novelties were such things as plastic toy soldiers that, if they could talk, would tell horrific tales of being used as targets by the neighborhood kids in weekly snowball throwing contests. Dad also had a six-foot glowing Frosty the Snowman, plywood Peanuts characters in skating poses, a plaster-cast manger scene and boxes and boxes of pretty, colorful and very tangled lights. In the 70’s, I remember my sister and I sitting on the orange shag carpeting in our family room, having to check every single bulb on those incandescent strands, desperately trying to find the one that was burned out or loose. Because, unlike today’s LED one piece socket bulb construction, if just one bulb was either loose or burned out on those old series circuit strands, the entire strand went out! We had A LOT of dark strands and my sister and I missed out on A LOT of sledding and snowball fights. “Girls, take pride in a job well done of weeding out that misfit bulb. THAT builds character!” My dad’s inspirational, rah rah speeches were as legendary as his lighting displays. Of course, we thought our snippy little comebacks were equally superb. “We’d rather build snow forts than character, daaaaaad.”

For years, dad toiled away with cumbersome, faulty Christmas lighting and equipment, but all that changed on a warm September day in 2004, when he happened upon a new consumer lighting technology that would take the world by storm: light emitting diode, or LED! Dad was giddy! A brave new world of lighting possibilities lay in front of him and he wasted no time in putting the mysterious and über expensive LED lights into action. Our neighbor, Mr. Carpenter, was displeased. For you see, he and dad had gone back and forth for years, over who would lay claim to the bragging rights for “Best Christmas Display on West Terrace Drive”. Carpenter was no match for dad’s new LED’s. “Hey Carpenter, you’d better get the LED out if you expect to outdo me this year! Get it? Get the “lead” out, as in hurry up, but these are LED lights, so it’s a funny play on words. Did ya see what I did there?” Carpenter just shook his head. Dad kept chuckling to himself.

A lot has happened since LED’s first made their appearance on the consumer Christmas lighting scene and my dad, thanks to a dramatic drop in their cost, has been able to keep up with the advances. As a matter of fact, he’s been so inspired by LED’s, that he has decided to branch out and light up other holidays! No, my mom is not happy.

So back to my original memory of my dad, standing out there on his front lawn, super tight snowmobile suit zipped to his chin, his family gathered around him, staring at his latest and greatest Christmas lighting display. It’s a tradition that, at one point, I dreaded, yet I’ve come to appreciate and treasure. He said, “LED there be light,” and by gosh, there was light!” Thanks dad!!

Shop LED Holiday Lighting for great gift ideas for Dad this Father's Day!

Dad's Early Christmas Lighting Items