Joy and Sorrow of Christmas Lights 2023

Joy and Sorrow of Christmas Lights 2023

We live near a street with “famous” Christmas Lights. It’s often featured in lists of “Best Christmas Lights,” and people come from miles around to see them.

In the past, it has been spectacular, though as a local, the fact that people come from mile around means it’s quite an inconvenience too – the extra cars parked haphazardly, the people wandering around talking loudly and taking pictures, the litter…

And in one noticeable incident, one of the reindeer has DISAPPEARED!!!

Christmas Light Preparations

During November, the residents prune and tidy up their gardens, touch up the paint on their houses, and clean the porches and driveways.

Then, as December commences, out come the strings of Christmas lights, blow up Santas and fibreglass reindeers with chalets.

All except one house, which for years did nothing, then put up a sign “Chrismas Lights,” with arrows pointing in both directions (and a small string of presumably not Christmas lights on the top so you can see what the sign says). More recently, they’ve added a lifesize clip on Grinch head.

The Grinch

For those who don’t know, the Grinch is the main character in a Dr Seuss children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He’s mean and bad tempered and lives alone, on a cliff, overlooking the town of Whoville. Of all the things he hates, he hates Christmas the most; the noise, the food, and the singing.

Long story short, the Grinch attempts to steal Christmas, learns the deeper meaning, his heart grows three sizes, and he returns all he stole.

While he’s often seen as a kind of anti-Christmas, the story is one where the Grinch grows into his potential rather than rejecting the outside world and slinking back to his old ways.

But it’s not until after Christmas he sees the error of his ways.

When the Christmas Lights are over

The book doesn’t go into detail about what the Grinch does after Christmas. Whether he makes the change permanent, or like most of us, our New Year Resolutions fade from our memories by February.

For the Christmas Light street, as January turns, the residents start pulling down the decorations. I wonder whether they throw them haphazardly into the shed, or take the time to carefully pack them away. Some wait until January 6 for the 12th night, and some come down after boxing day.

By the time the spindly branches of nude Christmas trees are out on the street for the green waste collection, it’s almost as if the magical display was never there.

Aside from the couple of houses who leave some of the lights (presumably now called fairy lights) still winking away through the year.

But for now

For now, while it’s an inconvenience, it’s time to enjoy the Christmas lights, knowing in a few short weeks they’ll be gone (like the cocktail bar we visited last Christmas Eve).

To think about people and Christmases past and plan for Christmases future.

Before reality hits us again in January.


Photo by me! (Yes I’m aware I’m part of the problem).

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