The Winter Solstice occurs today at 9:47 a.m. Pacific Time (17:47 UTC). That's a little over an hour from now as I start this post.
I've lived in this apartment since February 2002 but I never put up any lights. This year I got the urge to do it when I was getting something at Home Depot earlier this month and saw light sets that didn't cost a whole lot. But I'm trying to spend very little, so I didn't buy any. Last week I thought about it again and went out looking, but Home Depot, Loew's and Fred Meyer only had clear lights and I wanted colored lights, so again I didn't get any.
Then yesterday I recalled seeing a sign at the Walgreens only a few blocks away about lights, so I stopped in. They had colored lights in sets of 100 for $3.99. I looked at the length and figured I could use one set to outline my 8' x 3' bedroom window and a couple of sets would probably go from my porch light, up to the rafter ends behind the gutter, then down to the railing and back to the light.
Besides the lights, I also needed a little plug outlet that screws into a light fixture. There weren't any at Walgreen's, so I ended up going to the Home Depot, a six-mile round trip for something that cost $1.72. That trip was made only after making sure there wasn't one in my overflowing toolbox.
It was raining and dark when I got back, so all I did last night was tape up the lights around the bedroom window. I put the porch lights up this morning. The lights for the bedroom window plug into a power strip I'd freed up while rearranging stuff on my computer desk a while back. So with the porch light, all I have to do is flip a couple of switches to get everything lit up.