I love Christmas time – the decorations, particularly the lights, are my favorite thing. I can remember as a child sitting in our dark living room just staring at the Christmas tree all lit up and so beautiful. I would sit there alone for what seemed like hours, I loved the peaceful feeling, the smell of the live tree and the colorful lights. I knew the tree was temporary, so I tried to memorize the look of it – to burn its image into my eyes, so that it would always be there when I closed my eyes. I wasn’t successful at doing this, but I tried very very hard every year.
We haven’t had a Christmas tree for a while, so I have transferred my love of lights to the outside decorations. Every night starting with Thanksgiving, we walk the neighborhood and watch as one after another of the houses light up. I delight in each new house. I have favorite houses, but I really love them all – except the dark ones. Like the Christmas tree, the house lights are temporary and will go away in the coming weeks, so while I am excited as the number of decorated houses increases nightly as we approach Christmas, it is somewhat melancholy for me as that number decreases after Christmas. I know that if the lights stayed up all year, they wouldn’t be as special as they are to me, but I still can’t help being sad when the lights are taken down.
But I break all the rules – I keep my Christmas lights up all year. I think this tradition for our house started gradually, one year we were the last in the neighborhood to take down the lights. Then the next year, we kept them up a little longer and so forth, until we just kept them up all year. I will remove old lights and add new ones at Christmas time, but my lights blaze away all year long. It is easy to tell people where I live, I just say “the house with the Christmas lights”, which is unique about 10 months of the year.
I also love walking through Winterhaven, going to ZooLights and any of the other big Christmas productions. I appreciate the art and creativity of a good light show. But I must say, the best is just the quiet – no crowds – walking around my neighborhood enjoying the lights and silently thanking my neighbors for all the work they have put into decorating their homes and yards for my delight.
December 2016 , sometime before Christmas