Not the rumor mill again?

Half fact, half rumor and half wild speculation around the Northern Lights

All this time us elves thought we were watching Mother Nature’s Northern Lights up in the sky but we’re no longer so sure. My shift is still talking about those over-the-top Christmas displays seen on some TV show called ‘Great American Light Fight’ last Christmas. I’m thinking our December based Northern Lights are really the glow from some of those houses. Good job, decorators!

Elf on the cruise
Elf on a cruise

The big man in red gave us a Spring Break this year. Most elves headed south in search of warm weather beaches. Not me. I wound up on some enormous cruise ship floating around the Caribbean. Unpack once and that hotel follows you from island to island. The non-stop feasting did get a little old after the 7th day but OMG… it’s all-you can eat, so I did. To me it’s Christmas research as I sample the dishes from other cultures with an eye towards taking the best and adding a Christmas spin to it. Lobster bisque with wild mushroom reduction sauce on a chutney based fruitcake wedge has potential. Watch for more incredible recipes later, or not.
What’s new in the decorating world for 2014?

Last week Santa presented me with a ‘Holiday Brilliant Spectacular Light and Sound Show’ he had picked up at one of those after-Christmas sales. Plug lights into these wireless receiver boxes scattered around the yard, connect your iPod and watch the lights dance while listening to the music on the wireless outdoor controller/speaker. So overcome with excitement I went outside in the rapidly melting snow and set this thing up. Let’s just say if you have the opportunity to get one of these… don’t. I told Santa to return it to the store. Mrs. Claus told me later the store said it was too late. Should you get a HBSLaSS, consider the regifting route.
If I get another email from China about LEDs I’m going to scream. Good gosh. Everyone and their brother are getting into making these little energy saving wonders and I assumed it would mean more competition so pricing would go down. The cost of raw copper (all that stuff in the wires) took a nose dive in March so I was even more optimistic the final product price of LED light strings would be lower but copper is starting to recover just as lights are being made in huge quantities for this holiday season. How convenient. Seems Christmas light pricing is staying steady for this year.

Then there’s the pixel invasion which seems so evident in this issue of PlanetChristmas magazine. I’ve heard Chuck Smith talk about any light, any color, any time meaning infinite possibilities for decorating. He’s right but figuring out all the technical magic is way above this elf’s pay grade. All the supergeeks talk constantly about buying directly from China. I’ll admit to checking some pricing… at least until I started adding shipping from China to the North Pole. Lightweight stuff seemed on the high side yet semi-reasonable but the heavy stuff had a dramatic impact on my credit card statement. I dunno. Can’t imagine what it would cost, much less the time required if you needed to return something to China if it’s defective. My gut’s telling me there’s a huge pixel world to get excited about but buy the stuff as close to home as you can in case there’s a problem with this technology. Think of your local source as an insurance policy for all this cutting edge magic.


This article was included in the April 2014 issue of PlanetChristmas Magazine.

By Master Elf N. B. Scuttlebutt

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