Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of winter. It’s cold, I hate the snow and I miss daylight. But one thing I do like is the couple of weeks leading up to and following Christmas — I love seeing houses and trees decorated with lights.

The colors of lights, the way the lights are displayed and just the general aesthetic of the lights are something I look forward to every year. Though the days are short, and often dark and dreary, seeing the lights gives me a little extra happiness to get through the day.

So you can imagine my disappointment when the majority of lights were taken down almost immediately after Christmas was over.

There’s a huge house up on a hill across from my apartment. After Thanksgiving, the house and the trees around it were beautifully decorated and it was so nice to see in the evenings. Now, it’s just darkness.

Growing up, my dad would always decide to put the lights up on the worst possible day. It would be 13 degrees, snowing, windy and dark, and my dad would begin to hang up the lights around the porch.

If lights were kept up year round, he (and I assume several other dads in America) wouldn’t have that issue. Even if the lights were kept up through the winter and taken down in, say, March, there’s a chance it would be a little warmer and a better environment to do so.

I suppose I could just decorate my place with lights year round, but for some reason, it has that stereotype of being “trashy.” There’s a country song, “Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson, that has the lyric, “I keep my Christmas lights on my front porch all year long,” which is to say, I guess, that it’s a “redneck” thing to do.

There’s nothing wrong with being redneck, but it’s not me.

So, I ask — can we all come together and beat this stereotype? Let’s keep the lights up year round.

Imagine how magical it will feel in the summer to sit outside with a glass of wine with lights twinkling above you. Perhaps different colors could be used in different seasons. I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of the idea of having neon pink and purple lights hanging in the springtime. Orange could be used around Halloween and the more traditional red, green or white lights could be used in the winter.

Think of how much fun this would be. I see no downside to having lights up year round.

Halie Kines is the associate editor for the paper. She can be reached at