At this time of year a lot of people debate the all-important matter of whether Christmas trees are "better" with white or colored lights.

I'm quite the Christmas tree perfectionist, and I prefer the look of all white lights on the classic Christmas themes that I do with my trees. Some family members prefer white lights too, but some don't. Being someone who tends to see most sides of a lot of arguments, I can see why some people prefer colored lights.

So, in order to make everyone happy I've devised my convertible tree lights arrangement, making sure I'm careful not to string too many lights together or over-burden any of the outlets.

First there are the colored lights. Then I add as many white lights as the tree and outlets can accommodate. That lets me have the white lights on most of the time, particularly when nobody else is in the house; but a mix of both types of lights on Christmas day, itself.

In fact, it allows me to have a number of different "lighting looks" over the course of the holiday season. They include:

All the white lights on and no colored lights on.

My thing about Christmas trees is this: It's Christmas. Nobody should be unhappy with the family Christmas tree, especially if there's only one tree in the house. My other thing about Christmas trees is, however, my "rule" that the person who puts up the tree and decorates it, and the person who spends the most time looking at it, ought to have the tree look the way she likes it to look! And, I have yet another "thing" about Christmas tree lights, and that it is the colored LED lights now in use tend to give me a little bit of a headache. In fact, the red ones make me a little nauseous. (I'm not a big fan of people using "medical excuses" to avoid stuff they don't like; but, honestly, I'm reluctant to update my iPhone to the new operating system because some types of lights really are kind of piercing to some people - and I'm one of them.)

In any case, I've always been kind of proud of the fact that my trees are aimed at making everyone happy. And, since Christmas ornaments don't fall far from the tree, my grown daughter now does her own Christmas tree "convertible style".

Image: ME Whelan