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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

It is not even Thanksgiving yet, 
 and the Christmas lights are up in my city.


“Heap on more wood! the wind is chill; 

But let it whistle as it will, 

We'll keep our Christmas merry still.”

 - Sir Walter Scott



Driving home tonight after a long day and night of transporting rare blood over lonely rural roads, 

I saw the Christmas Lights on homes had gone up all over town.

You might think this tradition has been around for a looong time.  

You would be wrong.  

It has only been around for the past 60 years or so.

Yet, the custom goes back to putting candles on the Christmas tree in upper class homes in 18th century German homes.

In 1895, President Grover Cleveland put up the first electric lights on a tree in the White House.

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree." 
- Samuel McCord

I thought as I drove that you and I are the true Christmas Lights.  

The Christmas Season is dark for many.  

For others it is a financially demanding gauntlet through endless store aisles, 

crammed with ill-tempered shoppers and frayed-nerved clerks.

By the light of our compassion, our concern, and our companionship, we can be small lights in a black season for many.

A candle's light is feeble, but it casts back the darkness enough for you to see far enough to take the next step.

“When we recall Christmas past, 

we usually find that the simplest things 

- not the great occasions - 

give off the greatest glow of happiness.” 

- Bob Hope

The American tradition of decorating evergreen trees, homes, and landscapes with brightly lit Christmas lights is not as old as many people think. Most of us probably assume that Americans have always used Christmas lights in one form or another but this isn't exactly true. As it turns out, this American tradition has only been around for about 60 years - See more at: http://www.holidayleds.com/articles/history_and_meaning_christmas_lights_america#sthash.zuAq4Pso.dpuf
The American tradition of decorating evergreen trees, homes, and landscapes with brightly lit Christmas lights is not as old as many people think. Most of us probably assume that Americans have always used Christmas lights in one form or another but this isn't exactly true. As it turns out, this American tradition has only been around for about 60 years - See more at: http://www.holidayleds.com/articles/history_and_meaning_christmas_lights_america#sthash.zuAq4Pso.dpuf

17 comments:

  1. Hi Roland - everyone seems to get on the bandwagon too early ... here we usually decorate the tree about a week before Christmas .. but then we're an old-fashioned house-hold perhaps! Years ago we used to make decorations which we strung around the house ... now it's all too 'easy' - lights and decorations made for people.

    Love the Northern Lights - they always entice .. the world is magical and as you say it is the simplest things we remember ... like my home-made decorations with coloured paper and flour paste.

    Your work is so important to many ... and cheery roads must make a welcome sight .. if you don't look beyond the 'expense' ... when so many are lacking ...

    We can provide the compassion, the companionship and concern for those without ... thanks for reminding us before Thanksgiving and well before Christmas ... Hilary

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You always make me feel better for reading your comments. Thanks. :-)

      To me, the Northern Lights have always looked alive, so in my novels I made them so.

      I was lucky to find a job that is needful, and it makes me feel as if I contribute to the welfare of those around me.

      Have a healing holiday season.

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  2. I've always loved Christmas lights even though we aren't big decorators or celebrators.

    My dad worked for an AFB when I was a kid. They would always announce a big rift - layoff before Christmas so my parents spent carefully in case it was them. I would say it was terrible but learning to enjoy the season without breaking the bank is great. Sounds scroogelike I know.

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    1. Not Scrooge-like at all. To appreciate those things that are truly of worth that we all can see in our lives is simple wisdom.

      Mother and I would yearly drive through the city at night, admiring the twinkling Christmas Lights -- memories that now are priceless. :-)

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  3. Thank you for this wonderful post, Roland! I know I don't stop by often, but when I do come by your blog I always find encouragement. Thank you.

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    1. I am glad every time you visit. Thank you for liking my posts! Have a beautiful Thanksgiving.

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  4. We have always waited until Dec 1 or the first week to put up lights. Having a month to enjoy the lights seemed to enhance the holidays for the kids. As a child I remember my parents taking us to see the Christmas lights in our town. I don't mind the Christmas lights early but the US Thanksgiving is later than our Thanksgiving in Canada, so maybe that makes a difference. I'm on the last bit of FQN, btw. . .should be reviewing it soon.

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    1. I hoped you enjoy FQN.

      As I said earlier, driving the dark streets with Mother ooing and ah-ing every holiday made Christmas special for me. :-)

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  5. Kim and I have been stunned, watching the local over festive store displays.

    Halloween paraphernalia, was on the shelves as of Sept. 1st. Thanksgiving as of Oct. 1st. All the aforementioned was replaced with Christmas paraphernalia, as of one week prior to Halloween.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see Easter Bunnies on the store shelves, prior to Christmas.

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    Replies
    1. Bunnies come on the day AFTER Christmas! :-)

      We must keep Christmas alive in our hearts, protecting its true spirit with compassion shown to others, right.

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    2. Exacty my friend. The Brigade vs Over- Commercialization of Holy Days. ;-D

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  6. Christmas lights/decorations have been up here for a while. And, in the week after Christmas, hot cross buns will hit our stores.

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    Replies
    1. The retail world is a universe of its own it seems!

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  7. I might not put up decorations this year. I can see everyone else's.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. I keep Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree up all year, and that is my sole decoration. A real Christmas Tree would be slain by my ever-curious kitten, Midnight!! :-)

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    2. Ah, I remember the time our late cat Milhous climbed the Christmas tree, took the angel from the top, and bit off her face.

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    3. Milhous was just jealous of another angel! :-)

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