Kaye’s Corner: Christmas lights

Post-Thanksgiving, we will quickly turn the corner and sprint to Christmas, four short weeks away. Along with shopping, baking and wrapping, the joyful aspect of holiday lights begins. In both our homes and public areas, activities get underway for the lighting of the Christmas tree and exterior decorations.

In Meeker the town decorations will be going up in time for the Dec. 1 Parade of Lights. This event includes lighting of our beautiful downtown Christmas trees, sleigh rides, a Santa visit, fireworks and music from the Community Choir plus more. Did I say parade? 

The town elves (AKA Town of Meeker Public Works) will be decorating and putting up lights to celebrate the upcoming holiday. Thanks for your hard work and hope the weather is cooperative. Meanwhile in our homes, we’ll be lighting up too. 

The history of lighting Christmas trees goes back to early celebrations of Christ’s birth and the return of the sun at solstice. Let’s not forget to celebrate the days getting longer meaning increased sunlight starting Dec. 21.

Along with trees are shimmering wreaths, swags and candles. We love our little reindeer carrying battery operated candles. They’re safe, no wax and the batteries are easily replaceable. The joy of holiday light can appear in many forms.

Before electricity, candles were used to decorate Christmas trees. Long ago friends of mine honored this tradition by adhering actual candles to special holders on their tree. Guests were given a safety lecture including fire extinguisher use. Then, we basked for a few short moments in the natural candlelight.

Some churches have candlelight services on Christmas Eve where each person holds a lit candle in a dark sanctuary. I think it is beautiful and calming way to greet and revere Christ’s birth.

Along came Thomas Edison with his invention of the light bulb. One of his associates created Christmas tree lights and displayed them in 1882 at his home on Fifth Avenue. Soon businesses and towns began their own decorations. And so a tradition grew.

In our homes, we are determinedly trying to get the tree up and lit, the house decorated, and if very brave, assembling those outside lights and displays too. Every year, one string doesn’t work resulting in a search for the culprit and a replacement bulb or entire new string if necessary. It’s always a challenge, but the results are worth it because we get to bask in the glory of the light. 

I always enjoy driving around town to appreciate all the outdoor displays other folks have worked so hard on. Even a few moments of looking brings great joy. Thanks to you who decorate for the rest of us. 

Holiday lights bring us joy and hope. In the dark days of December, our homes are more cheerful and bright. In many ways, they are gifts we give to others, those folks passing by that enjoy our lights from an exterior view. Whether one candle, a well-lit Christmas tree, or a yard of clever displays, enjoy the holiday lights.

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