Sparking Controversy: White Christmas Lights or Multi-Colored?

Reflections on the only RIGHT answer.

For all this talk of love and joy, nothing flips a switch in the hearts and minds of merry-makers like the same old holiday showdown that sets-off every season. We’re not talking about “Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?” Not “Eggnog or apple cider?” Not even “Harmless mall Santa or creepy old dude in a leisure suit?” (That’s a separate blog post.)

christmas light competition
Is it possible too go “to far” with holiday lighting? | Image courtesy NY Post

The question in question is, of course: “White Christmas tree lights or multi-colored tree lights?”

You can choose one, or you can choose the other. You cannot choose both.

While lighting concept quandaries may seem a trifle in the grand scheme of the season, consider the optics. Without a careful regard for the right illumination, the world’s most wondrous spectacles would be shadows of their former selves. The Eiffel Tower would be a letdown after sundown. Game shows would be lame shows. Las Vegas would be little more than a hodgepodge of unfortunate architecture in the middle of a desolate landscape. (And just how would the aliens know where to land their battleships, we ask?)

To finally pull the plug on this never-ending argument, let’s start by laying-out the case for each hotly-contested color scheme:


  • Pure as the driven snow
  • Supposedly “more sophisticated”
  • Historically true to the candles of yore
  • Neutral, so as not to clash with one’s existing décor
  • Scientifically speaking, they’re all the colors of the rainbow combined


  • Arguably “more festive” 
  • Eye-catching, yet unpretentious
  • Irreverent and innovative   
  • All kinds of nostalgic
  • Believed to have healing properties
holiday lights
White lights capture the subtle magic of the holidays.| Image courtesy Negative Space

With rational merits on each side of the argument, it’s tempting to call it a draw and default to playing the peacemaker. To simply say, “You do your thing, I’ll do mine. Let’s not make a scene in the middle of the Mini-Mart.” But maybe we’ve lost sight of what really matters most: Creating the all-important vibe. After all, holiday spirit doesn’t grow on trees. It’s carefully curated by passionate individuals with the noble cause of thrusting their beliefs upon others. So in that light, we think it’s only fitting that we offer you our unsolicited two cents:

For far too long, self-appointed “arbiters of taste” have sat on their ivory sofas (no doubt covered in protective plastic slip-covers) spewing the same inflammatory rhetoric: That white bulbs are the superior form of arboreal splendor. They’ve deemed their multi-colored counterparts tacky, out of date, a round-trip ticket on the hot mess express. To which we say: Don’t get your perfectly-coordinated tinsel in a twist. Do you want “tasteful” or do you want Christmas?

holiday lights
The use of dazzling colors never disappoints! | Image courtesy Pinterest

We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but the holiday isn’t exactly a study in sophistication. Socks on the mantle? Utterly unhygienic. Reindeer parked on rooftops? Pretty rude, if you really think about it. And let’s not overlook the indecent display of snowmen parading about the neighborhood in little more than a cursory scarf.

It’s a full-on, festive free-for-all…a dazzling display of doing whatever lights your fire. So let the suburban shopping malls keep their curated collections of cheerless tchotchkes and please-don’t-touches. And let’s be clear about one thing: Multi-colored lights are the only way to glow.

After all of this controversy, if you need to get back to the business of gift giving ideas, take a look at Elfster’s Gift Guide. Elfster’s Facebook page is also sure to offer some any time ideas. You can also follow Elfster on Twitter @Elfster and on Instagram @Elfster.

About Stephanie K 6 Articles
Stephanie was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, which she'll gladly tell you about, prompted or not. She enjoys colorful expressions, loopholes in language and computer-lit evenings with Microsoft Word. When Stephanie's not mulling over age-old riddles of rhetoric, you can usually catch her traveling the globe (or the far reaches of Florida), reading up on world history, or bouncing ideas off her husband and her dog. They know all about Tallahassee, but are still nice to her anyway.