With Christmas so near most families have completed decorating their houses. Our way home from work is lit with beautiful lights adding cheer to the dark evenings. Traditionally, Christmas lights were white. This is because the first lights used to decorate were candles on Christmas trees. In the 18th century, upper-class homes would use melted wax to glue candles onto their Christmas trees as decoration. Electric lights were not used until the 1880s. Eventually, strings of lights began to be hung from mantles, over doorways and on the outside of houses. Today Christmas lights can be bought in a great assortment of colours and styles. It is this that has begun the battle between traditional white and creative colourful lights.
Everyone has heard it from friends or family members – the rants about their neighbour’s crazy Christmas lights. Either they flash through windows making the neighbours feel like they’re at a nightclub or they are too plain. The New York Times interviewed a couple from the Bronx that could not agree on white vs. multi-colour and ended up deciding to alternate each year. One year the wife would string her white lights and the next her husband would have his coloured ones.
An over the top example of lights comes from a house in Georgetown, ON (14 Johnson Crescent) which has over 45,000 coloured lights and its own radio station. Visitors fill up the street to tune in and watch the choreographed light show from the comfort of their cars, all to raise money for the Georgetown hospital foundation. Just think of their neighbours!
It is human nature to find flaws in everything. We are all unique and therefore have our own specific taste but Christmas is the time of year to focus on the good. Instead of cursing your neighbours for their unique lights focus on the time it took them to put them up and the Christmas spirit that it adds.