There was a time, long before the advent of the illuminated animatronic reindeer, when Angelenos didn't keep the icicle lights on their eaves year-round. Then some elf with a marketing MBA decided to add plastic chili peppers and pink flamingos to that tangle of green wires and glass bulbs and rename them "string lights," which meant big business with college kids and their tween sibs. To make holiday lights festive again there are 100-bulb GE Superspheres and blinking strings of snowflakes in hardware stores, while catalog companies like Frontgate offer battery and solar-powered LED twinklers. Disco effects leave you cold? Try these updates: A string of traditional multicolored bulbs with a sparkly pastel winter coat.