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Bob Fischer: Keep the lights on till Jan. 28

Christmas lights adorn Jefferson Street in downtown Naperville. Holiday festivities will continue in downtown Naperville through New Year's Day.  | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media

Christmas lights adorn Jefferson Street in downtown Naperville. Holiday festivities will continue in downtown Naperville through New Year's Day. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media

Happy new year! Hanging a new calendar on the wall always leads to mixed feelings. (Is this something only old fogies who refuse to be completely electronic still do?) While the opportunity to start with a clean slate can be welcome, there are memories and experiences that should not be tossed into recycling along with last year’s appointments.

Christmas celebrations and the joy of spending them with family, including my children and grandchildren, are at the top of my list of good times from 2013. While it is possible my top recollections from the year might be due to memory issues associated with the senior citizen status I will attain in 2014, experiencing Christmas with little children who have wonder in their eyes is a great lens for viewing the end of another year.

The house has been awfully quiet the past few days because the only holiday guest still in residence is Sadie, my nephew’s golden retriever. She spends most of her day curled up by the back door, and the knotted sock she plays with is much easier to navigate around than cars, trucks, stuffed animals and trains.

With Christmas fading in the rearview mirror, thoughts probably should be moving toward taking the decorations down and packing them up for another year.

“Decking the halls” after Thanksgiving is always a time of anticipation. It is also a balancing act to stay in the holiday spirit without being overwhelmed by the preparations for the season.

Packing away the décor and associated memories should ideally be a less hectic endeavor, but at some point, one that needs to be done. The only hard date for returning things to storage is some time before the Valentine’s Day chotskies come out of hiding. Accordingly, I am planning to enjoy at least some of them for a couple more weeks or until my wife decrees the end of the season.

Outdoor decorations are my domain and scheduling their removal is solely my responsibility. Believing that statement after 37 years of marriage is probably another example of cognitive function impairment associated with the approach of Medicare eligibility, but for now, that’s my story and I am sticking to it!

With the sun setting about 4:30 in the afternoon, having the lights twinkling outside the house helps to take some of the edge off the dreariness of January.

While I will probably pack away Santa and the grazing reindeer this weekend, I really do like the lights on the bushes. As a protest against the enforced early darkness imposed by daylight saving time’s hiatus, I think I will leave the outside lights on until Jan. 28 when sunset finally transitions to the other side of 5 o’clock.

After all, downtown Naperville is leaving their lights on into February to keep the spirit alive, so I think I should extend the season, too.

May 2014 be a bright and good year for you and yours, and consider leaving your lights on, too!

Bob Fischer is president of the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation. Contact him at bobfischer@wowway.com.

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