(Envy-inducing holiday lights witnessed during a carriage ride through Highland Park.)
I am a Christmas fan.
I love the baking, the cards, the trimming of the tree (heck this year we even cut one down ourselves…we’re earthy like that). I love cranking the Christmas tunes (specifically the old-school ones as sung by Ella and Louis and Bing), watching Rudolph and Charlie Brown and The Grinch with the girlies, selecting and wrapping gifts. I love it all…except (predictable, I know) the inevitable martial bickering that comes with any and all activities involving Christmas lights.
Christmas lights are the bane of my existence. Full stop.
Take for example the matter of our (freshly cut by our very own hand) tree. It took the husband 8 hours to get the lights strung on the thing, only to have a particularly pesky strand crap out three times in the past week. His subsequent troubleshooting and fixing was accompanied by lots (and lots) of complaining. It was painful.
And then there’s the matter of the outside lights. Or, I should say, the lack of outside lights. Such is my husband’s disdain for the task that he, well, refuses to do it. Fights ensue (often to the soundtrack of Ella, Louis, and Bing). He wins. And the house, much to my chagrin, stays bleakly unadorned. It’s a bad scene — not very joyous or merry to say the least.
So when the peeps at online home repair booking service ClubLocal told me that they’ve added holiday light installation to their roster of offerings and then asked me if I’d like to test drive it at my own home gratis, I graciously accepted.
Enter the marriage saver.
I hit the ClubLocal site, set up an account, selected a date and 2 hour service window for the install, and a few minutes later was chatting on the phone with a ClubLocal consultant about what I wanted (white lights outlining the house, no-frills, no icicles, just simple, minimal goodness please). The entire enterprise took about 20 minutes, start to finish.
Cut to two days later, and I’m tracking my “Holiday Lighting Pro” via e-mail updates as he’s in route to our house. (I can also keep abreast of things in real time via the ClubLocal mobile app.) He arrives during the allotted window, installs my festive holiday splendor (exactly as I’d requested), runs my credit card via a handy iPad, shoots me an invoice, and, with a wiggle of his nose and some magic fairy dust swirling around his head, was off.
This particular brand of marriage-saving magic, the kind where one of ClubLocal’s heavily vetted and screened service providers brings all the lighting supplies and does all the work, would set me back around grand. (ClubLocal’s pricing is competitive at about 20% below Dallas market rates.) If I opted for providing all of my own lighting, hardware, and decor and just having a provider come and install it, I would be looking at a more palatable $150-$250.
Either way, it’s far less than marriage counseling. Suffice to say, we’ll be putting this line item in our holiday budget next year.
Done and done.