We leave Christmas lights up year ’round at Hungry Holler. We don’t even use the adjective CHRISTMAS when referring to The Lights. They’re so dang pretty. Why should they be enjoyed only a few short weeks every year? And let me tell you, it’s not a lazy attitude. Keeping strings of lights going night in and night out is not easy.

I have miles of extension cords to contend with. When a string goes out, I have to trace the offending component, untangle it, remove it, replace it. I’m gradually exchanging traditional lights for LEDS. I’m investigating solar. I haunt after-Christmas sales. I have to make room for storage. It takes effort. And I’m a snob: multicolor is the only way to go. Why expend all the energy for plain old vanilla/white lights?

Our position is purely aesthetic. But in the Culture Wars outside the Holler, To Leave or Not To Leave Lights Up inflames folks on both sides:
Redneck Queen Gretchen Wilson is militantly proud of leaving them up: I’m just a product of my raising, I say, “Hey y’all” and “Yee-haw” And I keep my Christmas lights on, on my front porch all year long (Redneck Woman lyrics).

POAs (Property Owners’ Associations) everywhere have rules against it: Christmas decorations and all decorative lights on structures shall not be installed or utilized before November 1st, and must be removed not later than January 15th.
Somewhere in the Switzerland Middle of this heady question is the Holler. Unless a mythical POA tried to boss us about (admittedly) important stuff like holiday light schedules. Then we’d be whomp-ass militant. Guess that makes us complex.

Ma lives at Red Mountain Country Club and they take their POA regs seriously. Ma gets back at them by having Hungry Holler gourd luminarias all over inside her house. Walk in any evening and you’ll feel like you’re at the planetarium. A nice planetarium with wine and Lay’s Potato Chips. Ma and I love sparkle and gourd luminarias make your ceilings and walls sparkle with light. The darker the room, the more pronounced the sparkle. Each gourd has about million holes, everyone of which I drilled my ownself. The holes are round but the projections on ceilings and walls are geometric. It can look like birds flying, or numbers, or letters like W Z N M. It’s the beautiful laws of physics writ small: curved gourd surface, holes with depth. There’s a larger but still small hole in the bottom of the gourd from which I clean out the pulp guts. The process beats my knuckles up something fierce, and I wouldn’t do it except for one thing: IT IS SO WORTH IT.