Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Lights of the Christmas Season

I love the Christmas season. It’s my favorite time of year for more reasons than I can enumerate here. But I love almost every aspect except one—but online shopping has been a boon that spares me most of the only part I really dislike – fighting traffic and crowds around retail areas.

My poor attempt to get a picture of the balls on
a tree in my side yard.
Among the many things that make Christmas special are the light displays. I still remember from my childhood times when my parents would load us all in the car and we’d drive around gaping at the wonderful lights arranged on house and garages. It helped that I grew up in a New York City suburb on Long Island with a high population density and houses spaced close together. There were always spectacular displays to see. We would normally take a trip into the city, meaning Manhattan, at least once during the season to visit relatives there, and that was even more of a treat. Whatever its defects and blemishes visible by daylight, the city turns into a kind of fairyland at night—at least in the eyes of a child.

Perhaps that’s why I’m still a sucker for amazing light displays, even the over-the-top tackiness of houses decked in basement-to-ceiling lights, icicles, blinkers, inflatable snowmen, reindeers and Santas, even spotlights and nets.

My all-time favorite light display, however, is the one that goes on in my own neighborhood this time each year.

The entire area is decked out with lighted tree balls, many hung high up in the trees and thickly enough to turn the entire neighborhood magical. The balls are made from chicken wire, then strung
with lights. When hoisted into the tree they become shining moons in rainbow colors.

Sadly they don’t photograph well. Even professionals struggle to capture the beauty and majesty of them.  There are a few here that give you the idea but mostly it’s something you have to experience.

The only downside is that attracts a lot of traffic to a neighborhood that isn’t really built for it.  But the gaping tourists are the price we pay for the loveliest non-commercial display anywhere!



  1. I agree that the lights at Christmas are a wonderful part of the season and a part you never outgrow. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. I love Christmas lights too. Our neighborhood puts out the illumination candles on Christmas Eve. Love seeing them when we come home from church - a reminder that all is not dark in the world.

  3. Hi Karen--
    I adore the Christmas season here in the USA but I fell in love with the spirit in villages in Europe. They truly go all out.