I can’t believe it. I’ve been doing something horrible at Christmas time all these years.

Something that might be compromising our very lives! Our entire planet!

My crime?

Decorating the outside of my house with Christmas lights.

Rosita Fonteles sent an email to newspapers across the country this holiday season, saying: “Why do we continue to waste energy at the end of the year with the illuminated Christmas decorations?”

She continues “...we need to save energy because we extract it from nature and thus compromise the environment. If it is generated by thermoelectric, it implies burning raw material extracted from nature and its process contributes to global warming. The energy generated by hydropower depends on fresh water, which is increasingly scarce on the planet. So for LIFE it is important to save water and energy.”

So, according to Rosita, me putting Christmas lights on my house is a major threat to life as we know it. I’m probably killing dolphins, too.

Methinks Rosita is taking life just a little too serious. Imagine what would happen if I transported her to the middle of Azalea Park’s holiday light show, which features more than 500,000 lights. Her head would explode.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I try to conserve energy whenever I can. If I didn’t put up Christmas lights, not only would it save electricity, but save all the energy it takes to wrestle with tangled strings and climb up and down the ladder 1,000 times.

One Christmas, to conserve electricity, I replaced the lights along the edge of my roof with lighted candles. Yep, the roof caught fire, singed Santa’s beard and the fire department wasted tons of water to extinguish the blaze. I received a lump of coal in my stocking from Santa, a bill from the fire department and a threatening letter from the water conservation folks.

If I didn’t buy Christmas lights, think of all the poor factory workers in China who would lose their jobs. I bet Rosita didn’t think of that. I’d rather deal with one woman obsessed with extinguishing the holiday spirit than the Chinese labor union.

If she had her way, we’d all regress to caveman times, when Neanderthals gathered around the fire for warmth and comfort, waiting for Santa to arrive. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a distant ancestor of Rosita tried to extinguish their blaze to conserve firewood – and save the dolphins.

I say enough is enough! This is still America and the U.S. Constitution guarantees specific inalienable rights that include “Life, liberty and the freedom to decorate our homes with Christmas lights.”

God bless you, Mr. Thomas Jefferson!

Rosita should focus her energy on bigger wasters of electricity, such as my neighbor, whose 100,000 watt security light comes on in the middle of night, every night, and lights up my bedroom like a football stadium. If anyone deserves a lump of coal ...

So, Rosita. As Ebenezer Scrooge once said, “Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.”

And my way includes putting Christmas lights on my house.

Merry Christmas!

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