Lights Fights


Lights and wreath more symbolic than visible from the road, but one of our anchors to Christmas past.
  • Once Thanksgiving goes by, Christmas light on homes begin to appear.  This year everything is a little early, at least for those who participate at all.  What with people off to Florida, just getting too old to care, or protesting commercialization, there is a strange mix of excess and non-participation.  Or perhaps it was always like this and I never noticed.
  • Part of the rhythm is dictated by work schedules and anticipated weather.  It used to be a lot was accomplished on weekends, when suddenly Sunday night would be illuminated.  But now with people working odd hours, or not at all in extended households, and with others hiring crews, and technology being what it is, a massive demonstration can spring up any day of the week.  Like flicking a switch.  At some point, I suddenly realize I am behind the curve and pull out the annual offerings at my wife’s insistence.


Cheerful lawn decorations to appreciate during the day.
  • Beachcroft runs the full range of decorations.  Some houses are fully lit, although only one extravaganza “nouveau riche” exists down at the harbor.  Some houses show nothing at all, either not Christian or pure bah humbug.  A few more or less tasteful lawn candy canes or elves pop onto lawns.
  • Generally, however, this neighborhood is subdued.  The season is noted,  a small display is welcome, and solstice blues are resisted with twinkles.  It has remained warm enough to walk around and enjoy the ambience during early evening.


Unusually warm day hazes background, while foreground demonstrates the arrival of December.
  • Star light, star bright few stars to see tonight.
  • Sky is always overwhelmed by haze, town glow, and aircraft.


Arrival of a supermoon also brings in super high tides, filled with newly dried flotsam.
  • Displaying lights is one way of keeping off the ancient terror of solstice short days with deep cold and snow right around the corner.  Today, in spite of our comforts, problems sometimes seem worse and worse _ particular for those who take the media seriously.  Having a gaudy brightly lit property is apparently one way of fighting back.
  • America consumerism preaches the sermon of purchasing meaning, in houses or cars or jobs or _ at this time of year_ with so much illumination outside that a place threatens to outdo the sun if turned on during the day.  Each homeowner a midget Medici, showing how mighty the family has become.


Nature has not yet quite given up on a display of colors, but you have to look hard.
  • I admit I enjoy going out and looking at the beautiful evening show.   It is easy to be a curmudgeon and make fun of all the hoopla, but holiday lights are an American tradition, especially a 1950’s and on American tradition  It is comforting to see it repeated year after year.
  • The conspicuous consumption and environmental degradation aspects of all this used to be more of a concern, but with the new LED lights even those have faded.  And, after all, it is only for a little while, some few weeks.  Although, like everything else these days, I note the tendency to keep them up longer and longer, sometimes even year round


Much more enjoyable night scene than the security lighting we usually have to endure.
“That’s beautiful,” exclaims Joan, as we drive past another commercial display of trees wrapped in blue
“Remember when we used to drive the kids around in the evening?” I ask.
“Oh, yeah, and my father too.  Those were wonderful times.”
“This year there seem to be more and more,” I remark.
“Tacky,” she agrees, “Especially the blow up figures crowding the lawns.”
“Well, they were after our time, I guess.”
“I wish we could wrap our trees like that,” she sighs.

“I’m not about to break my bones climbing around like that.  Of course, when I was a kid, it was my job to climb up the big fir out front to put up the high lights.”


What is “tasteful” varies with whatever current fad has arrived recently _ all-white is in.
The snows of yesteryear may be gone
Today’s remains fresh
Soon to join its ancestors
Perhaps something to ponder

Perhaps simply to enjoy now

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