This is a big weekend for Christmas decorations around South Louisiana and the world. Those who celebrate the season by stringing up holiday lights have no doubt encountered a bit of a conundrum without even knowing they were staring at a mystery.

Let's face it, if you put up Christmas lights you're going spend about 34 hours of your life untangling them. Unless you adopt my method which is to throw them all away at the end of the season, then go to Walgreens the day after Christmas and buy new lights for next year at half price.

Trust me, the time you'll save the curse words you'll never need more than makeup for the lack of thrifty behavior at Christmastime. But when you open that new string of lights I want you to be on the lookout for an extra bulb. No matter what color lights you buy, there is almost always an extra red one, here's why. 

The mystery is the single red bulb that is often included in light sets that don't feature colored lights. If you happen to decorate your tree or your home with "white" or "clear" lights you've probably wondered, "why did they include a red bulb as a spare"?

The Red Bulb is Not a Spare.

I guess it could be used as one but the real purpose of the bulb according to Tik Tok creator @viznelly is to make your holiday light display "twinkle". Take a look and see for yourself.

I must admit, I am in the same boat as thousands of commenters on this video that has been seen by millions of people around the world. I had no idea that's what the red bulb did. All you have to do is replace any of the regular white or clear light bulbs on the string with the red bulb that is provided and let the twinkling begin.

The bulb creates a "flashing effect" with the entire light strand and manufacturers figured out the easiest way to mass produce lights that flash along with lights that don't flash is to simply include the "magic bulb" and let the decorators decide.

The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is why I am just now learning this. You'd think such an important option for the over-the-top holiday decorator would be common knowledge or at least they make reference to it on the box the lights came in. Maybe they did, I'm a man I don't read directions.

But now you have a little holiday "trick" you can play on friends and family. Don't you think it would be fun if their holiday lights started flashing for "no apparent reason"? Then you can show them this interesting trick that a lot of us are learning for the very first time.

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