Houston, we have a problem.
It's less than three weeks until Christmas and so far no one is going to mistake our house for La Casa de los Griswolds. While I would like to have more lights than an airport runway lining every angle, corner, and wall, I don't.
Not even close.
The first problem that came up was that HOLY SMOKES THIS HOUSE IS BIG. I mean, we knew we were upgrading in July when we moved from less than 1000 square feet of living space to over 3000 square feet, but I didn't really ponder how the hilly yard and exposed foundation would factor into Christmas lovelies. The roof? Is high. Very high. The really tall ladder we bought several years ago specifically for getting on top of roofs? Not really tall enough. Not even close, in fact.
Not having a ladder tall enough to get on the roof led to more than a few conversations between me and Santa. I told Santa all I wanted for Christmas was a 40-foot tall ladder. Santa glared at me. I repeated my every dream and desire. Santa pointed out that ridiculously tall ladders cost a lot of money.
Santa is no fun.
Perhaps the worst part of the Great Ladder Debate of 2009 is that Santa is right. Once we get a deck built, the ladder we have will be big enough. I could override Santa and go get myself a ladder so I could have pretty icicle lights this year, but that would mean I would have to wait even longer to have a deck. Stupid Santa and his valid points.
The other issue that is driving me nuts is that whoever ran the electrical wiring for this house clearly didn't understand the importance of dedicated plugs on house exteriors. It took a few days to figure it out, but it turns out that every exterior plug and light to this house is on the same circuit. Along with the water heater.
I'm pretty tolerant of cold, but not when it comes to showers. The very first time I had to take a cold shower because the lights and water heater running together had tripped the circuit, I knew we were in a lot of trouble. It would be simple, but it turns out that electrician-type people actually expect you to pay them money to rewire a bunch of plugs.
Electricians are no fun.
So, here I sit in a house with some Christmas lights, but not nearly enough. There are boxes and boxes of unused lights in the basement, but unless the Electrical Fairy pays us a free visit tonight, they won't be getting put up.
To brighten my dark little Griswold heart, I need places in and around Pittsburgh to go look at lights. I asked twitter and it suggested:
Steel City Christmas (Beryl Drive, Pittsburgh)
The houses off of Old Lebanon Church Road in West Mifflin (near the intersection of Routes 51 and 885)
Christmas Light-Up (Findlay Township)
Morningside (above the zoo)
Bob's Garage (Aspinwall)
Ingram Avenue (around corner from Sharp Edge)
House on 286 in Holiday Park
(The house on Seibert near McKnight doesn't have the lights on so far this year and probably won't have them. Lots of drama going on there.)
If you've got more or details about any of the above, dish it out.
Oh, and Mr. Husband, you're driving to all these places this weekend. That's what you get for depriving me of my rooftop icicle lights. :-D
Thanks to the following people for their mastery of Pittsburgh Christmas light extravaganzas: ciaobella, hellohahanarf, aPSUmama, ChickLitLisa, sheepthemoon, avisualtinkle, tehamy, GoBobbo, mattieflap, and everybody else who I'm forgetting because I forgot to star them all.
I'm doing this again this year. If you see some Christmas Crazy anywhere, take a pic and post it on or by 12/20 (Mr. Linky will go up on 12/20). If you don't have a blog, you can email the pics to me at burghbaby (at) gmail.com and I'll happily post them. Thanks!
Monday, December 7
Houston, we have a problem.