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  • Last modified 248 days ago (Dec. 14, 2016)

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Help me decide about our Christmas lights

After all the complaining I did about getting the downtown Christmas lights turned on, it appears that they all are up and running in fine fashion. The bulbs are glowing and the timers are working as they should every night.

Thanks to the friendly and competent guys from Funk Electric in Hillsboro, we are well decorated for the 2016 holiday season.

I will confess it took some doing this year, after finding myself as the last remaining member of the Peabody Christmas Light Committee. I do like the lights, but I know absolutely nothing about electricity, timers, meters, and a dozen other things about which a Christmas Light Committee member ought to have a bit of knowledge.

All I know is that I am fond of the lights outlining our downtown buildings, but I don’t want to be the only person in charge of flipping all the switches or deciding to purchase replacements or additional display items.

When we first began this exercise in about 1990, Peabody was the only town for miles around that outlined its downtown buildings in holiday lights. At that time, the city also had wreaths with colored lights on the street light poles and garland with multi-colored lights strung from one light pole to the next on each side of the street. It was a festive scene.

Somewhere along the way, the wreaths and multi-colored strings of lights disappeared and only the clear bulbs outlining the buildings remained. They were popular with residents and visitors alike.

However, now almost every community within driving distance does the same thing. Peabody no longer has a unique Christmas image. Even the two ground displays of ice skaters and Christmas carolers did little to perk up the downtown area — they have remained packed away for the past two years. A large tree at the corner of Walnut and Ninth Sts., also decorated with clear lights and donated in memory of Ralph Hicks, is another stand-alone display that welcomes visitors to Peabody.

What do you think? Seriously, I would love to hear your thoughts on what to do with the Christmas lights. The crew that got them up and running this year said the wiring and sockets should be replaced. They are going to come back when the weather is better and visit with me about options. There is money available in the Christmas light fund to make some changes. I also have two new young community members who are willing to serve on the committee and a couple of others are “thinking about it.” I find that promising.

What would you like to see? If you have suggestions about how you would like our downtown decorated, let me know. Do you want to keep the clear lights or switch to colored lights? Would you like to add wreaths or swags? Do you prefer the simple lines of lights along the building tops? Would you like more ground displays? Tell me. Once our committee meets, we will review your comments.

Truly, if you want to offer some input, now would be the time to make a suggestion, not next November.

—susan marshall

Last modified Dec. 14, 2016

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