Lights Out

Driving home from my mom’s last night, with Christmas almost over,  it seemed like just another night.  Dinner had just been me and her at the kitchen table, due to various family member illnesses and circumstances.  As I drove through the neighborhoods, I was struck by how few Christmas lights there were on the houses.  Other than the occasional lit up house, my guess is that fewer than 5% were adorned with lights, and maybe only a few of those were completely lit up.  No Christmas feel at all.
It was a huge contrast to what I saw when I was a kid.  Back then, late 60’s early 70’s, it seemed like EVERYONE had lights.  Driving around was like driving through Disney’s Electric parade.  Tons of color, some really fantastic displays.  A visual all-you-can-eat buffet.  Every couple of blocks was a “Whoa, look at that!”  Kid nirvana.

It seemed that all started to change when the energy crisis hit.  Suddenly Christmas lights were looked down upon as wasteful, as well as being expensive, and gradually over the years there were fewer and fewer displays.  No doubt this brought happiness to many a dad (and some moms) who no longer had to do yearly battle with the spaghetti mess of light strings pulled out of storage boxes, unstable ladders, burned out bulbs, and the pitiful look of their display compared to the neighbor down the street.

So while time marches on, it does so in the darkness this night……

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5 thoughts on “Lights Out”

  1. LED should have saved the day. We strung up lights this year and we live way out in the country. In fact, there is a guy north of here who lights up a single tree in at the edge of the road in ghostly blue lights. There is nothing else around it and you wonder where he gets the electricity…

  2. Growing up in the fifties and sixties in East Tennessee, I too remember lots of Christmas light displays. I also recall that some now forgotten entities gave out monetary rewards for those judged top-notch. For me, the criteria was the gaudier the better!

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