Given that Christmas, after all, comes and goes on December 25, wouldn’t the 26th seem as good a time as any to take them down? Or perhaps the first of January following New Year’s Eve. The eight-day-long Jewish holiday of Hanukkah commenced on November 27th, so there no reason there to keep the lights ablaze.
Yet we seem to live in a world where people can’t seem to get enough Christmas.
The escape from all of our cares Christmas.
I mean, screw Thanksgiving.
That’s pretty much Corporate America’s message in forcing employees to work on Turkey Day, effectively converting Black Friday into Black Thursday.
Kansas City’s fabeled Plaza Lights blink on Thanksgiving night and remain on through Sunday January 12. And while that may be pushing it a bit, it’s nothing compared to downtown Lawrence.
And now, according to the Lawrence Parks and recreation Department, the city’s extensive downtown holiday lighting will stay up and on through “at least the end of January and perhaps through Valentine’s Day.”
Lawrence retailer Mark Swanson – the owner of Hobbs – take on if the city should keep the Christmas lights on through V Day:
“Absolutely,” Swanson says. “Because people come downtown to see them because they’re beautiful. It’s that simple, they’re incredible.”
As for stretching out the holiday season diluting the holiday specialness, “Why would it?” Swanson asks. “I think they ought to be up 365 days a year.”
The obvious counter being that Christmas has it’s own special look – as does Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter and the Fourth of July – why blur them all together? The Plaza, for example, decorates for specific holidays like Easter with giant scary bunnies.
“Who cares, I don’t care what the Plaza does,” Swanson quips. “I care about how it looks here and it looks great because it’s cool.”
It doesn’t lessen the effect of the Christmas season having them up so long?
“I think that’s bullshit, so there you go,” Swanson says. “People come downtown to see them because it’s beautiful. They come down to shop and eat out a lot because of the lights. And because it makes winter – which is dull, blah and grunge – fantastic. Looking at a Picasso every day does not take away from it because it’s a cool thing.”