Christmas Lights

The week before Christmas features my birthday, which I have always regarded as a launch pad to the final week leading up to Christmas. As I get older, I find the Holiday Season inspires reflection.

December is the month I look forward to all year. Coinciding with the first of the month are Christmas light displays, anticipating early season snowfalls, and ultimately, relishing the holiday lights shining on fresh snow at night. Even better are outdoor lights illuminating a night snowstorm.

In the past, a focal point of home displays were electric window candles. Riding with my parents, and later on the road on my own, I enjoyed looking at the different colors people would use for bulbs. At one time, orange was predominant. Then white came into vogue. But, there were always some homes that featured all red, green, or blue. And there were the homes with with random mixed colors on multi bulb stands. Trees, shrubs, lampposts, rooflines, and fencing featured larger exterior incandescent bulb strings. Now, LED lights are predominantly used in displays, which are more energy efficient. They don’t have the same glow, but everything changes.

Perhaps the most important feature of the Christmas season is, people generally seem to be in a better mood. Well wishes are extended to family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. The adage, when you smile you feel better as well as others, certainly applies. Even in the mask era, we can smile with our eyes! For a brief time, it just doesn’t seem right to be locked up in anger, or the partisanship that has come to define us.

Inevitably, New Year’s day comes, and if the lights and decorations don’t come down then, we know they must soon. Hopefully, a sense of renewal remains from the season as we begin a new year.

Rick Payer