When you throw out the Christmas this year, leave the lights on it and let the garbage people haul the whole mess away. Everyone knows that taking off the lights is the most frustrating part of taking the tree down. They get tangled, stepped on, and cause tree needles to spread. The old lights won’t shine as bright next year in any case, and you will be spared the frustration that comes with untangling and repairs.
But wait. Isn’t this wasteful? Well, the term waste has no meaning apart from the price system, and I just picked up 100 feet of lights for $2 at the local drug store. Surely the time and frustration saved from wrestling with tree lights is worth $2. And next year when you put the lights on, you can put them on any which way, knowing full well that you will never have to take them off.
Like the tree itself, it’s long past time we thought of these lights as disposable items, along the lines of paper towels and foil pie pans. Your neighbors might be shocked at first, but just tell them to join you in obedience to the magnificent price system and in praise of free trade and free enterprise that brought us disposable tree lights.