Nights Of Lights

I don’t always associate Christmas with chestnuts roasting, bells jingling, or merry gentlemen resting. What I do associate with Christmas is lights – net lights, icicle lights, rope lights, fairy lights – strung across windows and doors, in gardens and trees. In hallways. In living rooms. In kitchens and studies. Sometimes even in bathrooms.

When I was a child I knew Christmas was coming when the clusters of lights began to appear in windows up and down my street. I got excited when I saw Mrs. McAllister take down her heavy net curtains and string lights in the shape of stars across her windows instead. I could see those stars from my bedroom window flashing red, gold and blue – marvellous, magnificent and so glorious that they surely must have been lighting the way to the castle of the Snow Queen herself, turning the dark, dull road into a path made of crystals.

When I was a child I was entranced by the delicate, mellow sheen of fairy lights. I became convinced that such tiny lights must surely be powered by stars and spent hours conjuring up ways the power could be transferred from the skies to the earth. I decided that the only foolproof method was threads made of gossamer soaked in stardust and carried by fireflies.

When I was a child sometimes still worried by the dark, Christmas was a kind of relief. All those nights full of lights meant there wasn’t much to worry about in the shadows.

I still love Christmas lights. A room with a Christmas tree propped like an old friend, branches bedecked with lights that suffuse every corner with a warm-hearted glow and ornaments collected joyfully through the years is like a little piece of heaven.

It’s exciting to wait for the dark; the purpleness of the hot summer nights. The shadows slide to the ground and you hold your breath knowing what is coming. And there it is, there they are – appearing like wishes and sighs of delight. One after the other they burst through the dark, turning the Christmas nights light.

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30 thoughts on “Nights Of Lights

  1. Yes! Yes! That’s exactly it! The lights make this season amazing. Here, where we’re in the dark time of the year, those lights really help lift the spirits. I love your description of how the fairy lights work on starlight and gossamar. See, even then you were a true writer. πŸ™‚

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    1. I find they really lift the spirits too, Karen, even here where it is summertime. You are kind to say that even back in the day I was a true writer. I think I just read too many fairytales. Hahaha.

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  2. When I was a child we used to drive into the town centre to ‘see the lights’ which were up and down the main street and along the beach front. Houses in this country seldom had lights outside in their gardens, but inside they usually had Christmas trees with lights. The lights do make it seem a magical time!

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  3. Lights at Christmas are something you’ve really got to get right.

    I’ve just been looking at the house across the road, who have a really tawdry, ostentatious display going. But, I’ve just been to post a letter, and seen another house with really tasteful, captivating lights … they’ve got it just right there!

    Did you see the picture I posted on Twitter of the lights in the market square in Salisbury?

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    1. I didn’t see your photo. Sometimes I miss things on Twitter because of the time difference. I’ll try and find it.

      I know what you mean about getting lights right. My neighbour across the road has a display straight out of Vegas at the moment. I keep expecting an Elvis impersonator to walk by. Tack -eee.

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  4. Hi Selma,
    I love all the Xmas lights, they are so beautiful. I love seeing all the decorations in the streets, shopping centers etc. a lot of these have fairy lights through the decorations as well and they look awesome.
    I love your Xmas Tree. πŸ˜€

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  5. The lights make it a magical time, that’s for sure (along with the fat man in red πŸ˜‰ and nativity plays and …) – one of my favourite things about Christmas. Your writing about it is magical too πŸ™‚

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    1. Awww, thanks, Gabe. I like the smell of Christmas baking. All that cinnamon transports me. I also love carols. Can’t get enough of ’em. I’ve been playing them on the piano and annoying my neighbour who I’m sure is related to Ebenezer Scrooge πŸ™„

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  6. Hi Selma, How are you doing? I just dropped in to say Hi, and give you hugs.

    I read all your posts and love them!! I just dont get the time to comment..but I do read all your posts, and they are as enthrallling as ever πŸ™‚

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

    Hugs

    Childwoman

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    1. So great to hear from you, Childwoman. Don’t worry – I read heaps of posts and don’t comment. It’s a time thing rather than a not wanting to thing. It is lovely to see you whenever you can make it. Have a fantabulously merry CHRISTMAS XXXX

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  7. Wonderful, Selma – “like wishes and sighs of delight” -yes! The crazy OTT light displays around our neighbourhood at the moment are an utter joy to behold πŸ˜€

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    1. Some people put so much effort into their light displays, don’t they? It takes my neighbour a month to get everything ready. I am impressed by such dedication. They lights ARE an utter joy to behold. Well said!

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  8. I love the lights too. Last night I was taking the kids home and we turned up a side street that had really gone all out. Quite a few houses were decorated with the led lights and it was so heartwarming to see. It truly brings magic to the season!

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    1. It does bring magic to the season, Cathy, and goodness knows we need a bit of magic in this crazy old world. Nick and I are probably going to go light display watching tonight. We love it!

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  9. I love the lights too though some people overdo them (I’m not a fan of houses covered in flashing lights and neon displays). My favourite Christmas lights are the subtle lights draped through the trees in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens

    Juliet
    Crafty Green Poet
    http://craftygreenpoet.blogspot.com

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    1. You’re right, Juliet, the subtle lights are the best becasuse they really seem to capture the magic of Christmas. I would love to see the ones in the Princes Street Gardens *sigh*

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  10. Christmas lights tell a very personal story, don’t they. You can tell a lot about a person by the Christmas lights they hang. I think we’ve all been imprinted to some degree to feel an inner sense of glee at the sight of those lights. Whee!!

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  11. Christmas reminds me of our neighbours in Kuwait giving us plum cake, appam cake (made of a rice batter with raisins in it) from my childhood. Later on it’s still that dry plum cake and bitter home made wine that the Christian families send you. Also unnecessarily boisterous shouts of “merry Christmas’ by loud, uncouth assholes who think getting drunk is a license to make noise and bother everyone else. Thankfully that is a small percentage of the population here.

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