Advent Calendar: December 4, 2015
Christmas Lights: Post # 4
From now until Christmas Eve, I will be participating in the 2015 Edition of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories by Thomas MacEntee and the Geneabloggers. If you would like to know more or even join in, please see This Link. I’d like to personally thank Dawn Williams-Kogutkiewicz of Dawning Genealogy for sharing this idea on Genealogy Bloggers.
December 4 – Christmas Lights
Some families string up a few lights each year while others go nuclear and are destined to force their neighbors into a brown out situation. Did your family put up lights and outdoor decorations around Christmas time? What about the neighbors? And was it a favorite family activity to drive around to look at Christmas lights? What about any local attractions such as parks, zoos and the like which put up displays of lights and outdoor decorations? Write about anything related to Christmas lights and your memories of Christmases past.
My Memories: I seriously doubt we hung outside lights at Christmas, it was probably just lights on the Christmas tree inside. Mama probably didn’t go all out, because for some reason, I showed no interest in that holiday when I was small. Must have been something wrong with me. LOL!
When I married, we bought lots of Christmas decorations for inside and out. After we bought our first house, hubby got lots of practice hanging lights outside as the kids wanted lights all over the house. It wasn’t too bad putting them up, but by January when you’re trying to remove them – well then it wasn’t fun anymore, and if had snowed, well then you were tramping through the snow trying to pull them down.
We ended up with so many outside decorations, from the typical Santa and Snowman to the Nativity set – all those big plastic decorations take up space! Later, we kept asking the kids, after they married and moved out, would you like this, how about this? Finally we were left with only maybe one Santa left. Now they are enjoyed in their homes and they can find a place to store them. I know those new blow-up ones don’t take up much space, but I just hate seeing them all flat on the lawns during the day.
My Husbands Memories: No matter how many lights we had – we always ended up at the hardware store on Christmas Eve for a few replacement bulbs still needed. I love the big colored lights we had on our tree.
The big pine trees on the side of our house were once much smaller than the 35 – 40 feet they are now! My father dug up those trees at his mother’s house in Shelton on Kneen St., and until they grew too tall for our ladders to reach, we hung lights on them every Christmas. I think my father had one of the electricians at Armstrong Rubber make him several light sets and we filled them with the biggest colored bulbs we found. Daddy hung the lights himself until I was big enough to handle the ladder and reach the top. I hung them every Christmas until the ladder didn’t reach any more and then that was the end of lights on the pine trees.
Here is the pine tree on the left when we were able to hang lights – on the right in 1971, when we married, it was way too high – now the impossible unless you have a bucket truck.
At my grandparents home on First Avenue, my Uncle Johnny bought the first bubble lights in the family. My father wouldn’t buy them – it wasn’t something he was going to spend his money on, to only use for a week and a half. Uncle Johnny was single, and living at home, so most times he was the first one to buy something new. He always had the biggest tree in the family, one year it was so tall that they had to cut the top off to even bring it inside. I remember the huge lighted Santa face he bought and hung on the front of the house. That house on Christmas Eve was always alive with lights, family, fun and food.
Like to read more ~ Click on 2015: Advent Calendar of Christmas
© 2015 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco