DadHacks: One GeekDad’s Joy and Hacking with Holiday Lights

Hacking the Holidays


Before we had kids, I joked that I’d never fall into the over-decorating trap.  Shows you how having kids will change your perspectives!


My neighbors call me "Griswold."  It’s not quite as bad as that, but I have taken it upon myself to make sure we have the best lights display on our block every year – not out of a sense of competition, but to give my kids something to smile about.

Click through to see one GeekDad’s holiday lights.

There isn’t anything hugely hacked about the stuff I put up.
Everything has been store-bought over the years, but I have built up quite the collection.  The one thing I can point to as a hack is the
"tree of lights" I created, rather simply, out of two GearGear eight-foot curtain rod
poles, two galvanized brackets for assembling chain-link fence panels, and a little bit of scrap wood. It was very roughly hacked together about five years ago, but it’s stood the test of time, and since it retracts for storage, it’s survived nicely.

Probably the best addition to the tool set this year is the extentable pole for setting lights on the gutters and eaves.  It was
$20 at Target, and saved me having to get my 12′ ladder out, dragging it about, and climbing up and down a dozen times.

The biggest challenge every year is balancing the power load: sad, but true.  If I put too much on the circuit that powers our storage shed, then every time we use the iron or the hair-dryer, the breaker pops.  But it takes some creative cord-work to get power from the garage out to all the right CanesCanes places.  But I’m getting better at it every year.

No wonder Pacific Gas & Electric has started sending me Christmas Cards…




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