Thursday, December 4, 2014

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - December 4 - Christmas Lights

Thomas MacEntee from Advent Calendar Geneabloggers says:

Some families string up a few lights each year while others go nuclear and are destined to force their neighbors into a brown out situation. Did your family put up lights and outdoor decorations around Christmas time? What about the neighbors? And was it a favorite family activity to drive around to look at Christmas lights? What about any local attractions such as parks, zoos and the like which put up displays of lights and outdoor decorations?

In my childhood, Christmas lights were really only placed on the tree.  There was often a lot of cursing as one or two bulbs were inevitably broken which meant none of them worked and you had to figure out which bulb was causing all the trouble.

Now we string lights up out the back around the patio as well as some fairy lights out the front over the carport.

But nothing major.  Just a token gesture really.

There is a Christmas lights competition held every year by a local commercial radio station.  When the kids were little we would drive them around to have a look.  My favourite was a house not far from our street which had Santa in a sleigh on the roof and the most enormous pine tree with a star on top. Really spectacular and awe-inspiring.  I think the owners have moved and the new ones don't do it anymore.  A shame really.

One year we drove an English visitor around to check out the lights in the suburb.  She was a dear little thing...quite a young adult and very passionate about animal rights et al.  She was quite restrained until a particularly outstanding display brought forth from her lips the very quaint English expression:

"Oh my giddy aunt!". 


One former work colleague of mine, a sound designer, has gone all out this year.  I think she and her partner received a commendation in the 4KQ awards.  You can check out their work here.

I think this picture I found on Flickr perfectly captures what Christmas lights are for me.  Something simple.  A bit of magic or treasure shining forth in the green.

We are having fun at work this week seeing the reactions of the kids to the Christmas trees in the library.  Little children cry out in delight as they walk in and rush to give our statue of Santa a big hug.  One little girl (who is obviously just learning to talk) walked around the library in delight for about an hour saying "Santa!" to all and sundry, just in case we'd missed him. Bless.  

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at 

1 comment:

Karen S. said...

Like they say, less is better, I completely agree. Although that said, I do enjoy driving or walking about seeing what others have designed for us to revel in their magic, this time of year. My parents never hung one light outside, they did have a large Santa (that glows still in our family now) but even the last year my mother was still alive, I drove her through all the streets just to see the lights! Just a favorite thing we do. As for my hubby, he never helps with decorating, so what we have is what I can muster on my own. Simple- but magical too.