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Good Question: When Should Xmas Lights Come Down?

By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- When we see the first twinkle of the lights in early December, it is amazing, even magical. But eighteen days after the holiday? So, when is the right time to take down Christmas decorations?

"Every girl needs a little sparkle," said Lisa Scherber, who has lights all around her Robbinsdale house.

There's a reindeer still lit up in the front, a snowman in the back.

"I still drive home from work and it looks so pretty," laughed Scherber, who said her husband tried to get her to shut the lights off.

"I told my wife I was gonna pull the plug Sunday," said Terry Scherber.

"I think he can't find the plugs," laughed Lisa.

Like a good husband, Terry let Lisa have her way.

"If that makes her happy, it keeps me happy, too," he said.

But Terry is paying the price for having his lights still illuminated.

"Today while I shoveled, somebody honked at me, I waved. He slowed down and said 'Christmas is over' and with an expletive," he said.

It's not like with political campaign signs. It's Minnesota law those have to be down 10 days after the election. But in San Diego, California, you can get a $250 fine if your lights are still up after Feb. 2.

The Urban Dictionary even has a term for these people: Nerkles. It's a combination of nerd and sparkle.

In Minneapolis, Brad Sutton admitted his giant wreath probably should be unplugged.

"I'll be honest, we're past that point. A week past the New Years, that's enough," said Sutton, as he sheepishly walked to the second story of his house and pulled the power cord.

Lisa Scherber said the end of January is her drop-dead point for leaving the lights on.

"It starts to look a little pathetic when the snow is melting, so we do turn them off," she said.

Todd Zimmerman proposed a staggered system of light deadlines: "Christmas Lights stay on until the day after Christmas then they are off period. I actually don't take down the outside Christmas lights until is is warm enough (like March, April, June, whatever) and the snow is off the roof. Inside Christmas lights and decorations come day New Years Day."

But as Nancy Aleshire wrote on my blog, "Keeping lights up is a matter of personal preference. There are no laws against it. If people don't like it they should get a life."

WCCO-TV's Jason DeRusha Reports

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