Dear Crabby,

I was taking a nice evening stroll when I came upon a street (Ed. note: street name redacted for reasons that will become obvious) and saw something that haunts me all year long: Christmas lights on homes in May. Don’t get me wrong; I love Christmas more than pretty much anything. However, I believe part of the beauty and allure of Christmas is a designated time limit. My question is: Should I be this upset by people’s general laziness and disregard for other seasons?


Christmas Comes Only Once a Year

Dear CCOOaY,

I’m pretty sure you’re talking about my house. I live on (name redacted), which is a pretty short street, and I have a string of lights stretched across the roof of my carport. It’s possible there are other delinquent Christmas celebrants on my street. Perhaps my house wasn’t among those that drew your ire. But that doesn’t change the fact that even now, a month after you wrote this, I still live on that street and have Christmas lights up. So I’m pretty sure you’re talking about my house.

That being the case, I should tell you right off the bat my answer is going to be a little defensive. I might even lash out at you in an attempt to shift the discourse away from my laziness. I’ll start by pointing out a couple of problems with your email. First, you say that Christmas lights on homes in May is something “that haunts me all year long.” That doesn’t make sense. “In May” and “all year long” are different things.

Second, you mention Christmas has “a designated time limit.” That also doesn’t make sense, because not only does the Christmas season start in, like, late October these days, but the concept of Christmas lives in our hearts all year long. It’s there when we laugh together with loved ones. It’s there in the twinkling eye of a young child. It’s there in midsummer when we make “egg nog” by just dumping, like, a half a bottle of whiskey on top of some vanilla ice cream.

Anyway, CCOOaY, I think your complaint is dumb. Christmas the religious holiday is sacred. Christmas the excuse to put up lights, buy each other stuff and get so drunk we tell our relatives how we really feel about them is not.

So, getting around to your actual question: Should you be upset about others’ general laziness and disregard for other seasons? No. No, you should not. There are much more important things to be upset about, things like poverty or hunger or deepening socioeconomic divisions in American society. Or for that matter, the Tigers’ bullpen, or that buzzing noise my oven makes even when it’s turned off, or that one old guy at the grocery store who pays with pennies and spends a half-hour talking to the express-checkout cashier.

The list of things to be upset about is long, and someone leaving Christmas lights up is somewhere around No. 945,342, right behind fresh-baked bread that has too much flour left on it, so you get a little bit of flour on your shirt, which you then easily wipe off.

Hope that helps.



• If you have a question for Dear Crabby, email it with the subject line “Dear Crabby” to On magazine lead writer Pat Muir at We’ll keep your name anonymous and do our best to give you some truly horrible advice.