Friday, December 02, 2005
This little light of mine
I fear I have become sadly attached to my daily blog habit. Yesterday I didn’t blog because I didn’t *have* to. I am officially done with my Photo a Day Challenge and am moving on to the Photo a week in December challenge. This month we have specific themes each week. The theme for this week is “Light.”
Since this is December and Christmas lights are everywhere, you wouldn’t think this would be all that hard to do. But I have never been able to take good photographs of my Christmas tree lights, so I have been having a good time with the challenge.
I’m kind of a purest when it comes to Christmas lights; I like the little white ones. David, on the other hand, prefers multi-colored strands. I like twinkling, he likes flashing, dancing, blinking lights. He’s also partial to the old-fashioned big bulbs that adorned trees in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I really don’t like blue lights, he loves them.
My favorite look for the outside, is trimming the house with multicolored lights with white icicle lights dripping down the sides. I think it makes the house look like it’s made of gingerbread.
But since the color of lights on our house is a minor thing, we have agreed to disagree and kind of decorate catch as catch can. One day I would like to go the whole gingerbread house route, with gingerbread men on the lawn and decorations shaped like candy. But this dream, like many others, stays in my mind for “one day.”
Our family rarely put Christmas lights on the house when I was a child. I suppose part of the reason was the house was usually covered in snow by the end of October, and stringing lights was not all that practical. No doubt money played a part in the decision, too.
But we did love Christmas lights. It was a tradition to spend Christmas Eve driving around our little town looking at lights. Now I understand it was our parents’ way to calm us down enough so we could go to sleep. But it is a good tradition, and one I have continued with my children. Alas, David rarely gets to see the lights, because he’s busy doing the driving.
When I moved to St. George I was astonished by how much decorating was going on. My parents and little brother spent one Christmas in southern Utah with me, and we spent hours driving around looking at the lights. At one point, we saw some really interesting lights on a house down a little lane and we drove down the road to investigate. It wasn’t until we ended up in the driveway that we realized it was a private road
Quickly we turned around and went back to the main thoroughfare, only to discover the homeowners had closed the gate while we were exploring. My brother and I hid in the back seat while my Mom got out and opened the gate so we could get out. My good old practical rancher mom has opened enough gates in her day to not even think about it. Ray and I were mortified.
The tradition of luminarieas began to flourish in St George during my years in the community. At first just a few houses put out the lights in paper bags. Soon a whole neighborhood jumped on the tradition. I am now completely sold on the method of lighting; it is so peaceful and beautiful. But I don’t know that it will work in the snow of northern Utah.
Light is such an integral part of Christmas. The holiday’s pagan roots come from the darkness of winter and the prayer for the return of spring. In the Christian tradition, light represents Jesus, who is the light of the world. In Jewish tradition Hanukah is a festival of light.
It is hard to imagine the holiday without candles, a roaring fire, twinkling lights on a Christmas tree and of course, the light in a child’s eyes.