If you've even been by my house in mid-winter, you know that I'm a fan of leaving my Christmas lights up for a long, long time.
They are still burning bright through the start of the new year.
And going strong for Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.
I don't even blink as Groundhog's Day passes by.
I like to keep my twinkling beacons of hope blazing away until Ash Wednesday, when the festive days of Epiphany finally wind down and we enter the somber preseason of Easter known as Lent.
Now, I understand that many people probably find this a bit excessive.
It's not lost on me that most Christmas lights come down within a few days after the holiday, and my lights' extra six weeks of showtime could come off as a little weird.
I'm happy to be the odd man out on this tradition.
Still, imagine my delight when I rolled into my daughter's neighborhood on the last week in January and found that the streets were still lined with lighted trees. Despite the dreary gray landscape and bitter cold winds, I felt warm and cozy as I trundled along beneath the branches of lights.
And I'm very glad that they are sparkling through the gloomy days of winter.
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Who on earth would choose to go to the icy Midwest during the darkest days of winter?
I do, and I invite you to read all about it.