Monday, December 31, 2012

Twinkle Little Christmas Lights

Shining on the tree...

The theme song for December is Christmas and we’re at the last verse. It’s a bit sad for me to see the trees, cast aside on the edge of the road with a bit of tinsel still attached and blowing in the wind, or packed away, branch by numbered branch, in a box to be stored on a shelf until next year. The other decorations, hung with care months ago, are quickly extinguished and removed, stuffed onto shelves in dusty garages and warehouses, waiting for the next season.

A park with a light display. All the pictures are from there.
The opening arch.
The last thing to come down is usually the lights. I adore the lights. Growing up, we never had lights on our house that I remember. But my grandparents did. After many tiring miles of highway, the lights would twinkle a warm welcome to us weary travelers. Grandmother would meet us at the door with her customary, “Christmas Eve Gift” greeting.

A train.
All the presents were wrapped with care...
The lights were standard old time big bulb Christmas lights. Granddaddy climbed a ladder to hang them evenly along the edge of the roof. After the holiday he would climb that same ladder to take them back down. And in between, if a light bulb happened to go out, the ladder was ascended again. But it was imperative for them to come down. It was a big faux pas to leave Christmas lights up all year, even if you lived in the country!
Get the star on top!
A stocking full of goodies!
I’d be content for the lights to stay hung and lit all the time. It makes things seem more cheerful somehow. They disguise ugly buildings and light up bland, lifeless towns. They add a welcome glow to the doors and windows of common people, binding them together, regardless of beliefs, for one round of the hour glass. Lights celebrating Christmas have been a tradition for a long time. Originally candles were fastened to tree branches with a bit of melted wax or later, a candle holder. Eventually it became conventional to use electric lights as decorations, unattached to the tree, outside and inside of homes. Cities and towns, regardless of size, often have a central Christmas tree or at the least hanging decorations lining their streets with a cheerful glow. One of those silly holiday movies I like to watch said that it was a way to welcome home WWII veterans from their tours of duty. I don’t know but it sounds nice.
A nativity scene. This is the only part I could get in but it was complete.

When we go to the mountains we often see lights outlining storefronts and houses, regardless of the time of year, hanging down in a fake icicle configuration and glimmering in the wind. It’s both welcome and welcoming. It’s hard to describe but it just seems to add something.
A sugarplum cottage.
Old man winter? The only snow happening here!
Things change as the years progress. Personalities develop and relationships transform. Gone are the carefree children who played together and loved one another unconditionally. Gone are strong family connections. Gone is the gratitude for the season. The Christmas lights are going out, one at a time, slowly. But surely.
Beautiful arches.

We’ll pack up our decorations in a few days and take down the tree and store the pretty lights. But I think I’ll leave some out this year. I’ll string them across the mantle and leave them on as a welcome, for me. I’ll be reminded of Christmas past and remember the good times. And I’ll have faith for the good to come.

Never seem to shine so bright...

Christmas knitting wasn’t too stressful this year. I have a couple of things left to finish but they weren’t really presents so it doesn’t matter. I did finish a Gaptastic cowl, in a rainbow color, for my daughter-in-law. She liked it I know!
Gaptastic for Jenni.

The glow of love is all around us.
So twinkle on Christmas time...


  1. We have rope lights going all the way around our living room ceiling year round. We turn them on in the evening instead of a lamp or overhead lights. It is soothing, I don't care if anyone thinks it is tacky. I like it. :)

  2. I love it! I would like that a lot. And I don't think it's tacky at all! It would be perfect in a baby's room too!

  3. I've got a friend who had string lights of different shapes. One year chili's another year I think it was something else. All year round.

    Some folks do that on their indoor porches. I just have a few soft glowy night lights in some outlets so I can walk around at night without having to turn overhead lights on.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    1. I asked for electricity on my deck so I could put out some lights! I wish it was an indoor porch. This year I also got some snowflake shaped lights. They are blue and white and blink. I put them in a silver tray on top of the gas stove in the fireplace!

      Happy New Year to you also! I hope this year brings you much joy!

  4. I love this post. I feel the same way. We had Christmas lights on the back patio year round until the squirrels chewed through them. I'm pretty sure our neighbors across the way think we are white trash for doing it, but they make me happy. As far as I'm concerned, everyone could use a little more twinkle in their lives!

    Happy New Year- I look forward to sharing a glass of wine with you in 2013!

    1. I think it's probably more accepted now. And now would be the time to replace them with all the after Christmas sales! ha ha

      We'll toast to 2013 soon!