Today we started decorating in earnest for Christmas by putting up the outside lights. We made the switch over from single light strings to the nets a few years back and I have to say they make quite a difference. Not only to they go up in about a third of the time, but they just look better. Many more lights and much more uniform. We had to replace two nets this year since some of our old ones had burned out sections and they're easier to replace then to spend hours trying to discover which bulb(s) are the culprits. Of course we also waited to the coldest day of the year to decide that today was the day to put the lights up. I had to take frequent breaks to blow my nose and wipe my eyes. As I was about to finish up I discovered that the flood light that we use to illuminate the wreaths on the front door was burned out. That necessitated a trip to the store for a replacement. Those babies are expensive. The picture above is from last year, but it looks basically the same as this year. It's quite a dramatic sight as you come around the curve leading to our house and it slowly unfolds in front of you. While I was out, I also filled up the minivan. I need to drive myself in tomorrow as we're having our Contracts Group Christmas Party off base. Its one of the few times we get together as a group outside the few random training sessions they conduct for us at the base theatre. We're spread over portions of five floors and three different buildings. Needless to say no one knows anyone outside their respective Departments. It's a bit unreal at times. I expect to eat my fill and get out before the games begin. Those always tend to be a bit awkward.