One of my favourite aspects of the festive season are Christmas lights. In my blog of Christmas activities, I mention the joys of going for a walk when sun goes down and the lights go on. As a child, looking at all the window displays and Christmas trees lit up in people’s homes was a special part of Christmas. It felt magical.
Before you go out, have a think about what the purpose of lights are and what you look for in a light display which makes you “glow within.”
Create your own private Christmas Lights Awards. This may include:
- The cosiest and most welcoming display
- The one with the most impact
- The one that makes the biggest statement
- The smallest and most loveable display
- The most imaginative display
- The one that lights up a dark place in a friendly way
- The “Just Because” award, which is given to the display you feel deserves it for no special reason other than “just because.”
The Nickel ‘n’ Dime shop in Inverurie has an extraordinary display, . It’s a visual extravaganza of four separate displays which work rather well together. It is the perfect place to window shop with the height of the windows and the level of the display at child-height. A lot of discussions will emerge simply by looking and talking as children look for their favourite objects and wonder how the light displays work on each tree.
Some displays play havoc with your mind. Below is a huge tree, considerably large than the house beside it. How the owners managed to get the lights strung up is remarkable. The ideas children will have on this subject make for prolonged discussions.
Some people will feel strongly that Christmas light displays are excessive in terms of the amount of energy consumed. This is true, but I think a little deeper thinking is sometimes needed.
One of my favourite displays is in my street, which is worth a visit, as several houses put up lights that compete with the community funded efforts in the town centre. Zoe and George have a lights festival going on. It has a rather sweet story attached as Zoe explains: We did not buy the lights but inherited them from an elderly couple who felt they were getting too old to put them up. We always visited them every year with our children and the couple were keen that the lights should go to a good home. Sadly the lady passed away several years ago, but the gentleman still comes round every year to see the lights. Personally, we always like to make an effort at Christmas and birthdays as life is busy and passes so quick. The lights are always something to look forward too! George always puts them up the first week of December.
When you look closely, you can see that some of the figures are delightfully old-fashioned and it’s a very special display. I think prolonging the use of these artefacts has merit in terms of valuing other people’s gifts and also not throwing things away. These days, light displays are becoming increasingly energy efficient and robust. This may still not be enough for those who are turned off by lights.
So, if you are looking for a breath of fresh air and need to get out in spite of all the wet and windy weather, then make the most of this time of year to enjoy these free works of electronic art, culture and seasonal tradition.