Blinded by the light

November 2023

Ah the festive season. Is there any other more magical time with sparkling lights on the tree, the railing, the fireplace, the outdoor…we all enjoy the glow!

Of course, placing these lovely little twinkle bundles is more than perhaps a bit frustrating. You too may have a bit of an abnormal relationship with your lighting as I have. For instance:

  • Do you notice that no matter how you carefully put away the lights, they come out tangled? Is there some Troll that visits on January 1 who decides to mess things up and revels in the opportunity to see you suffer?
  • The smart plugs who may be smart or not, or we just aren’t on the same level of smart, don’t want to work this time of year. We came to terms last time around. I reset them, plugged things in, tested everything before they were plugged in and turned all the lights on so as to organize their brilliance each evening at 6 p.m. and off at 10 p.m. I even bought a new speaker so as to have them turn off with the now infamous words, hey Siri, and the only reply I get is I can’t connect. Something I can relate to as right now I’m not connecting to the smart plug or his friend the Siri speaker either. I am not certain what options I have left but I may reintroduce Google and let them fight it out.
  • The motion sensor lights that have not really worked since we moved in the house thirty years ago or so and now, miraculously that I have Christmas lights up in their “space”, come on for every blade of grass or leaf, and soon snow, that passes through the back yard. This is more like a disco ball than a motion sensor as every few minutes they go on and off, on and off. I’m sure our neighbours are thrilled.
  • And although I have googled, checked online videos and read all about easy fixes, no matter what I do while following the instructions to the letter, it still doesn’t work. I recall my father’s annual fight with Christmas decorations and lights and wonder if I am doomed to the same fate.

    Of course, then he just plugged them in when he wanted them on.

    What a novel idea.

Interestingly I thought by purchasing all these gadgets, it would make life simpler. I have been advised that I need to unplug them, count to 10 and that would reset them to their original non smart status. Interesting how everything from televisions, computers and now lighting has that one single step assigned to making things work. Just unplug it. And then if it doesn’t work after that go to step 2.

Step 2? The garbage. My father would be proud. Happy holidays!

Sue Prodaniuk is a marketing, advertising and communications consultant. She can be reached at

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