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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Christmas Lights

Every year fathers around the country have the daunting task of climbing onto the roof and hang Christmas lights. I was no exception. Not that my wife told me to get on the roof, but because it is something expected from every man to do. Machismo? Probably. But for me it goes back to family tradition.

My dad use to go up on our one-story house roof every Christmas to string lights. My mom would stand outside with me and instruct my dad on how to properly position the lights—the bulbs had to be pointed outwards. And while my dad was putting the lights up, my mom would prepare us a delicious dessert—sometimes a German chocolate cake or pineapple upside-down cake.

There was one year when my dad decided to staple the lights. One thing he learned from that experience was that it was not such a good idea. A few years later he decided to get me involved. I was a young teen who didn’t mind climbing onto the roof. Fear was not even a thought. Nana, my grandmother, however, saw things differently. I remember hearing her cursing my dad for making me get on the roof, but, at the end, she would congratulate only me for the beautiful accomplishments.

While I was up on the second story roof of the house I saw my wife and son in the front yard.  My wife was horrified. My little boy was all smiles as he yelled and pointed at me, “dad”. Little did he know that I was a bit shaky up on the roof carefully putting weight on the roof to avoid a slide off the roof.

Although I probably won’t make him get onto the second story roof, I hope to enjoy stringing the Christmas lights outside with him and make it our family tradition.

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