I've always loved Christmas lights. Not necessarily the razzle-dazzle, big-time displays, though those certainly have a place. No, I just like regular old lights -- strings that hang from eaves, wrap around porch posts or encircle a wreath. It doesn't really matter what color they are or what kind of bulbs, as long as they bring light to an unexpected place.
|A spectacular display in my hometown.|
For as long as I can recall, my family have had lights strung around the house at Christmas. For a while, they were icicle lights -- annoying, miserable, icicle lights, as it turned out. Strands of the icicle lights were inevitably tossed onto the roof by the incessant winds on our hill -- and, nine times out of 10, frozen there by icy weather. Dad loved those lights, let me tell you.
Most often, however, my folks have had strings of old-fashioned white C9 lights -- those warm, glowing incandescent bulbs that can light up a room. With a string around the entire house -- and even up over the center of the house where the roof changes heights -- the entire yard gets lit by those lights. More importantly, the lights shine into each and every room of the house. They create a warm buzz about the windows, constantly hinting that something exciting might be just outside.
In our new neighborhood, I was thrilled to see strings of red, white, green and blue popping onto the homes near ours. Even without a string on each and every home, our neighborhood got quite colorful during the holidays.
As the lights have come down, one by one, I've been as sad as I always am to see the streets return to their January selves. There's nothing particularly cold, or even dreary, this year, about northern California. Nonetheless, it's tough to see a bejeweled street go back to being a non-bejeweled one.
So, partially in protest, and partially in deference to the insurmountable list of other to-do's at home, my Christmas lights shall stay up for now. In this time of continued change, I'm thankful for a constant bit of light.