We came across a recent news story that was kind of humorous, in a way. And in another way, a little bit spooky. We thought we'd share it with you.

It seems that in the Philippines, the government takes the quality of Christmas lights rather seriously. According to the news story, a governmental department called the Department of Trade and Industry had recently conducted a raid.

Substandard Christmas Light Retailers - Beware!

The target of the raid? Substandard Christmas lights.

To be precise, exactly 2,172 sets of Christmas lights were seized from eight establishments. It was a "monitoring and enforcement activity against fake and substandard Christmas lights."

And the fate of these substandard Christmas lights? Complete and utter destruction.

The government officials, you see, were equipped with wire recyclers and bulb beaters (whatever those are - but it doesn't sound good!), and were ready to use them - with extreme prejudice.

No word on what would happen to the sellers of those substandard Christmas lights. Maybe they'll get a taste of the bulb beaters, too.

What if it Happened Here?

What if the zealous Department of Trade and Industry were turned loose here, on U.S. soil? Would they be twiddling their thumbs? Or would they be kept very busy swinging their bulb beaters?

Our guess is that those guys would have plenty to do. And where would they do what they do? Odds are good that they'd spend a lot of time in the big-box stores that sell Christmas lights.


Well, we've harped about it before: a lot of "substandard" Christmas lights are sold at big-box stores every year. Millions of dollars worth. Countless consumers make the mistake of buying Christmas lights at those stores every holiday season.

And what do those unsuspecting consumers get for their money?

Cheap and cheaply made lights that don't look as good as they should, or last as long as they could. In other words: Substandard Christmas lights - to use the Department of Trade and Industry's terminology.

It really is almost criminal. And yet it occurs over and over, year after year.

Not to be Too Self-Serving, But…

Yes, we're tooting our own horn a bit in reporting this semi-humorous story. But it's a simple fact that Christmas Designers sells only very high-quality lights. And that the big retailers selling cheap lights very nearly sell only very poor quality lights.

We don't think there's anything wrong with letting consumers know that there's somewhere they can go to get quality products - even if that 'somewhere' is us!

Because admittedly, the mental images conjured up by this news story are a bit humorous. (Poor, substandard Christmas lights helplessly quivering in terror as a uniformed, scowling government official wields a bulb beater with ferocious intensity, working his way down the line, dispatching Christmas lights left and right amidst a shattering carnage of multicolored bulb remains.)

But forking over your hard-earned money for some of those substandard lights is no laughing matter.