OPINION | GARY SMITH: Christmas came and went: Why are the outdoor lights still on?

The following is a public service announcement: It's time to turn off the outdoor Christmas lights.

I'm not saying you have to take them down. That's a personal matter and a decision to be made by the individual in consultation with family members and your support network. Or just left till you get around to it. Solar Post Lights

OPINION | GARY SMITH: Christmas came and went: Why are the outdoor lights still on?

But you gotta turn them off. I know: The season has been magical, you just don't want it to end, blah, blah, yada, yada. Or, potentially and hypothetically, you're not really sure you remember how to turn them off. Personally, I throw all the switches on my outdoor light panel and just unplug everything I can find. Seems to work.

And work it must. I mean, you don't want to be the last guy to do it, and all the significant milestones (New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, the first electric bill of January, etc.) have passed. Time to throw the switch.

While we're at it, the tree is next. Again, yeah, I get it. Magical, don't want it to end, all that. You may actually still have a present or two under there Santa forgot to hand out. Whatever the case, it has to go, too.

Also, you've got about three more weeks on your New Year's Resolutions before you either announce you're going to "phase them in" over the year or just forget you made them in the first place. On this one I'm shoulder to shoulder with you. I still cannot play the guitar or speak Spanish and I tend to fall asleep when I try to meditate. So, despite my stated desires, I'm not musical, multi-lingual or mindful. And I know when to quit even trying.

You have two more weeks before you can quit going to the gym. Say it's because you have to park out too far and walk all the way in. Then, acknowledge, at least to yourself, the irony of that statement.

That peanut oil you've been saving since frying the Thanksgiving turkey because it was more expensive than your first car and you were assured you can reuse it? You can give up on that now. I have no idea how you get rid of it. Toxic waste dump, maybe? I don't know. I do know, as do you, that you just aren't going to reuse it and you might as well admit it, quit torturing yourself and get on with your life.

Maniacal cleanout of your closets, garage, desk drawers, junk drawer, gym bag (likely when you admit you are not going anymore), car trunk (THAT's where the Elf on the Shelf wound up!) and any other nook, cranny (never really sure what those are) or place you've crammed stuff all year and probably all your life, can begin now. And end in roughly half an hour when you get bored and/or admit defeat.

But if you do need motivation, think of the "I'm going to start the New Year off right by getting my house in order!" urge as similar to cleaning leftovers out of the fridge. Which you also need to do. Time to say goodbye to that pie. Which is now roughly two weeks old. And let's not get started on the turkey ...

There's more. The eggnog is bad by now, the fruitcake is still (and always) good. And "good" in the sense that there is no health-related reason to throw it away. Mercifully, whatever's left of your Christmas "spirit" is still good. And that you still have some is a clear indication you got along better with your family this year than in the past.

Returns? Should already have happened. If not, I'm thinking "Dirty Santa" 2023. If you can remember where you put them in your flurry of housecleaning.

The time has come; the season has passed. You can keep Christmas in your heart, but not the front yard anymore. Also, the fireworks you've been letting off since New Year's Eve? Yeah, time has come on those, too.

And while you're at it, time to talk about those pumpkins you still have on the front porch ...

Print Headline: There is a season …

Copyright © 2023, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. (NWA Media)

This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. Please read our Terms of Use or contact us.

OPINION | GARY SMITH: Christmas came and went: Why are the outdoor lights still on?

Flood Light 100 Watt Material from the Associated Press is Copyright © 2023, Associated Press and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and noncommercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing. All rights reserved.