Christmas Lights

by Deb on December 17, 2010

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I was going to go from the archives today but I’ve been reminded that this week’s Sharing Christmas at Adventures With Kids is about Christmas traditions, and seeing we’ve just set up Christmas lights with the little girls I’m feeling all nostalgic.  We had many Christmas traditions, when we were little it was a special family dinner on Christmas Eve then a long walk singing carols with my father’s unique singing and words.  When we were older it became a champagne breakfast of fruit, croissants and scrambled eggs while we opened presents, then down to the river for a picnic with the extended family.

One of my favourite parts of the buildup to Christmas was when we were at school.  We would go on holidays a few dayslights before Mum and the three of us would drag out the decorations and tree and put them up together.  My job was always to get the lights working, back in the day when christmas lights were a single loop connected in series (see?  Science).  This meant if a globe blew it broke the circuit and the whole lot wouldn’t work.  I would laboriously check them all to find the duds and try to get a working circuit.  We often ran out of globes but of course as kids we couldn’t go to the shops and we didn’t want to wait to put everything up.  So being an enterprising sort I’m horrified now to admit that I often used to ‘fix’ them with a rolled up ball of alfoil in the socket.  Hey it’s a metal, it’ll conduct electricity.  What more do you need?  It’s a wonder I didn’t blow us up or set fire to the tree.

This is our first Christmas at home since having the girls and they are really enjoying the lights, we’ve been driving around in the evening checking them out.  The big girl desperately wanted some but we only have a couple of boring strands, packed somewhere in the middle of the gear we’re moving.  We mentioned at a barbecue that we needed to find them for her and had an offer of going through someone’s shed, and boy have lights changed.

santa lightsSo this afternoon as we were setting up a Father Christmas in a sleigh, one climbing the chimney, a ‘Merry Christmas’ and a couple of light nets over the barbed wire fence I was both sad and relieved.  Because these days lights are far more sophisticated and complex arrangements that are wired in parallel, and if a globe blows it doesn’t take out the lot but only leaves a gap.  It’s sad that my girls will never feel the sense of accomplishment I remember when I got the single strand to work and we wrapped it around the tree, but seeing our house is mostly wood and I prefer my children with all their body parts intact that’s probably a good thing.

I’m looking forward to creating new and safer traditions with my girls.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Christie December 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm

There’s some nice memories there for you, and I’m sure you and your girls will create plenty of new traditions to become memories. Enjoy your lights!


Catherine December 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I love Christmas lights. We had fairy lights at our wedding – an old set like you talk about here – and my husband had to go through and fix all the blown lightbulbs. But he is an electrician so there was no question of alfoil!
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amandab December 20, 2010 at 5:01 am

I love going out to see the Christmas lights, and I love the lights on a Christmas tree. We had to get a new set of lights too, as the base-board of the control box was broken and the wires exposed, and then water had gotten into it’s box in the garage, so we were not taking any risks. Now, our new lights do not twinkle and it is just not the same. I think I will have to buy some new ones next year.

I do have a small set of the old-style lights somewhere too. I had thought of giving them to Princess for her room tree, but I am a paranoid Mumma who is sure they wouldn’t get turned off, something would go wrong and we would end up with an electrical fire. 🙁


Hans December 20, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I love Christmas time and christmas lights. We always have very nice decorated garden. I really love the atmosphere when it’s christmas
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Marita December 21, 2010 at 9:06 am

I love the new Christmas trees that the branches actually light up. They are really cool. My husband has been wanting to string fairy lights around our shade sail since it was put up.

So while I was out shopping last week I picked up a packet of white lights (not coloured because we want them up all year round). Turned out I accidentally got the net style lights. Ralph strung them up on the lattice behind where we are growing grapes and they do look very pretty.

Then I was in KMart and saw a string of plain white lights so I got them for him. Except these ones were the icicle style lights. Ralph made the best of it and has scattered them through our brush fence in the BBQ area and they look really pretty peeking out through the brush.

Third time round Ralph himself went to the shops and purchased a set of plain white fairy lights 😀

I love the Annie calls LED lights “Lead lights”


Mindy Russo December 24, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I love Christmas time and christmas lights. We always have very nice decorated garden. I really love the atmosphere when it’s christmas


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