Energy Burdens

By: John A. Lanier

While my family and I light a fire to create a mood, many in our community are struggling to afford to keep their whole houses warm. What is to be done?

The holiday season is fully upon us, and goodness was I ready for it this year. The cool air, the warm drinks, the twinkling lights, the out-of-office email responses...I’m here for all of it. Okay, maybe not all of it. I’ll still take a hard pass on the excessive consumerism that accompanies the last six weeks of the year. I’ve already recycled that blog a few times though, so I’ll actually write something new this year.

In my family, a big part of our holiday cheer comes from the traditional ambiance associated with Christmas. We put up a wreath, a tree, lights, and stockings. We light candles that smell of spice, fir, and apples. We play music of the season. We make hot chocolate and bake cookies. It’s a five senses affair in our house, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

This year, that includes lighting a fire in our fireplace. We’ve tended not to for the past five years, only because it made us nervous with young children underfoot. We now trust our youngest not to get too close though, and it’s been nice to add the warmth of the fire to our holiday season. Heck, our kids have even gotten good at lighting the fire themselves! Admittedly, all it takes is a flip of a light switch to get our gas fireplace going.

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