We have all discussed how awful it is that the retailers start decorating for the holidays the day after Halloween these days. So I won't go there. I find it equally silly that people decorate their houses in November as well. In the frozen north, yes, put up the lights when it is warm, but for heavens sake, you don't need to put out your lawn decorations yet! You certainly don't need to turn the lights ON until December at least. Well, it is your power bill I realize that, but it also pulls on the power grid. Making power for you to turn your lights on earlier, puts more pollutants into the air here in Alberta, in other provinces, it means using more water through the dams or putting more uranium into the nuclear plant. This goes for the whole world actually.

Alberta's Premier this year decided to not turn on the lights at the Legislature until 7.00 p.m. in an effort to reduce power usage. Last year, they changed all the lights over to LED to also save on electricity. I think this is a good effort to
show the population that you can still enjoy the season, but also show a little restraint. Of course, I am not sure how much of a dent it will really make in the power grid at this time of year, but someone has to lead the way.

In Edmonton, the power company, years ago, started something called Bright Lights. They set up lighted Christmas displays in one of the city parks, and charge a fee that goes (mostly) to the food bank and I think the Christmas Bureau (gifts to the less fortunate). They have big companies sponsor the various displays and it is truly amazing.

There is an area in the city where the residents got carried away trying to out-decorate each other, which has morphed into "Candy Cane Lane". Once again, the power company comes out and helps them get enough power to light all the displays (without setting off the breakers in the houses or blacking out part of the city). The residents now all cooperate in this - they pay their own power bills, (one home owner on the news one year indicated that it cost about $2000.00) but they also collect food for the food bank. It is an older neighbourhood, so the streets are quite narrow (especially with snow clogging them), so when traffic got so backed up that the city had to send out traffic cops, they decided to send buses instead. Your fee - donation to the food bank. You can also park nearby and walk through, again, bring food.

Now both of these serve the greater good, but at what expense? The ideas are probably practiced elsewhere as well, but when is someone going to realize that year round rolling brown outs are not what we are aiming for?

The pictures are from a few years ago at the Bright Lights, the top one, moves, the elves throw gifts into the stocking, there is another balloon, they alternate lighting, Santa waves, the bear pulls a fish from the water, the moose doesn't do anything and I can't remember what Aladdin does, but he moves too. There are so many more displays, that even if I had good pictures of them I wouldn't have space to display them. It is really fascinating to walk through and see them all.

This is so not what I was
going to post today, but, oh well! No I am not a grinch, I love the displays.


Hilary said...

Ooooh.. I feel like I've walked into a winter wonderland! I like your new digs!

Good post, Reb. I think that little by little, as we evolve, we'll work toward green-oriented Christmas seasons.

the Bag Lady said...

Hey, who are you and what did you do with my sister's blog?
Nice new look, sis! And cool photos.

Reb said...

Well, we put up Emily's tree yesterday which is where the blog was supposed to go, but then I got sidetracked.

It is after your birthday, so I can decorate, so I did!

Thanks for the compliments ladies, and Hilary, I can only hope you are right.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, cool pictures and a great new look for the blog!

I think the idea of turning lights into a community event is a great idea. (And I'm with you on the not-too-early thing. I think the "wait until after Bag lady's birthday" rule should be universal!)

the Bag Lady said...

Crabby - how are we going to sell that to the masses? No decorating allowed until after the Bag Lady's birthday...

Reb said...

Thanks Crabby! I just think that too much too soon, makes you tired of it eventually. I do like driving around to see the lights though.