Time to Hang the Lights

Neighbors up and down the block put up their lights over the weekend. We did too. It’s one of our favorite holiday things, along with driving around to see everyone else’s lights and going to local sites (e.g., gardens, zoo, parades) to see even more lights. Long story short: we like lights.

From our trek on the holiday light trail at the Botanic Gardens.

We don’t go overboard at home: icicle strands along the eaves, some spiral trees and reindeers on the lawn, and a string of stars along the garage. (Definitely not Griswold-Family-Christmas-level but a respectable level of festive.)

We always used to hang a wreath on the front door too, but…well, we moved last year into a house that doesn’t have a front porch or roof over the door. We hung the wreath up as usual and woke the next day to the worst smell ever: the plastic wreath had been shriveled down to nothing and rendered into a horrible cloud of chemical fumes. Apparently direct sunbeam + glass panel in storm door = broiler setting. Oops.

Anyway, every year, decorating makes me nostalgic for the days when the kids were very young.

Back then, we had a multicolored train, blinking candy canes, a row of twinkly green trees, and a blow-up thingie with a polar bear and a penguin, spinning endlessly in a circle. (Those have since gone to electronic heaven, and truth be told, I’m not sad about no longer having a bear with a blue vest–like a greeter from some superstore–parked out front. But the other things were adorable.)

Also, when we were driving around looking at lights, every time the kids saw a decorated house through the car window, they would yell out,  “I see Christmas on my side!” ❤️💚❤️💚

Wishing you most The-Holiday-You-Celebrate On Your Side this year!


More Botanic Gardens: these trees flashed in different patterns to accompany the Christmas carols. Magical.

What do you do for your decorations, dear readers?

34 thoughts on “Time to Hang the Lights

  1. Your wreath actually melted?? Wow, obviously there should be a warning label on those things!
    I know we all say Christmas is for children, yet, seeing all the lights and decorations, especially at night, just stirs up something in us. Even if just for a short time, it makes us feel happy and safe and maybe, just maybe, full of hope for this old world.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. We don’t decorate much for Christmas, especially outside. We have a Santa wreath that we hang on the front of the house by the front door. We do love to drive around and look at everyone else’s decorations, though.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. One year we did lights on the outside of the house, just icicle lights along the roofline and edge of the porch. The Hubby swore never again. But I do put a wreath on the front door.

    Inside is another matter. Of course there is the tree, the ceramics I inherited from my grandfather (most of them he made), and we line the archway between the living room and the dining room with cards.

    This year, we have the new sunroom and we’ve already decided there must be some decorations there, too, seeing all the time we spend back there. What remains to be seen.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Since I just have a condo, I put lights up on my balcony. Since they are painting, I don’t have them out yet. Hopefully, I can do that tomorrow. Got more decorations for inside, and I’m hoping I can have that mostly finished this week.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Now that I’enjoying apartment living, I stick with a white light in every window (all those years living in New England!) and a Norfolk pine with tiny ornaments. What fun to read about your family’s choices and to hear from others, too!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That sounds lovely, Kate! We live in an apartment without outdoor space, but our downtown association does a great job decorating the streetscape, so we enjoy the view out our windows!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ooo, I love the candles in the window! Last year I somehow forgot mine…I’d better get them out now. (Each of my “candles” has a battery and they run out every year, so I have to be well-stocked with Energizer.)

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh, no, Cynthia, a wreath releasing chemical fumes is awful! No, wait, that’s brilliant! You could kill someone that way… a Christmas mystery plot, perhaps?:)

    Liked by 4 people

  7. “Pine wreaths melting in the open sun…” Sung to the tune of you-know-what.

    Now that we spend the holidays in Hawai’i, I have a small Norfolk pine in a pot that I bring inside and decorate with my favorite ornaments from childhood (it doesn’t hold that many). And we do hang fairy lights on the front porch to watch as we sip our evening cocktails. I never tire of seeing the surfing Santas that folks put out around here under their coconut palms, lol.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sounds gorgeous! I used to buy cute little Norfolk pines with tiny ornaments, somehow without realizing that they keep growing. Now I have 3 of them and they’re crowding out the Xmas tree!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I love this! I’m a light-aholic too. We do a lovely job of decorating our house with white-lit reindeer in our front yard and a white tree. We were going to stop doing it but our neighbors begged us not to. It was so sweet!

    As to driving around looking at decorations, there are some in Burbank that are so over-the-top they’ve been in books and TV shows. We used to take Eliza when she was little. My parents would come and my late dad would be like a big kid. But now Jer and Eliza aren’t into it, so last year I corralled three of my walking buddies and gave them the tour. We ended up at a local bar and had the best time.

    Cyn – pix of your house, please!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Your house sounds like it has just the right level of holiday spirit! There’s a house not too far from us that does Griswold Level holiday decorating – with coordinated music – and I love it. As I’ve gotten older I’ve lost the distinction between tacky and festive. Life’s too short to not enjoy a good light show.
    I go for lights too and just bought some supersized stars for our new house.
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Cynthia, how beautiful! I just arrived home after taking way too much time on the drive because the lights were so mesmerizing. A lot of people here keep theirs up for an extra month or two–or even til St. Paddy’s Day–because they’re so cheerful through the long winter.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. “I see Christmas on my side!” I absolutely LOVE this. ❤ ❤ ❤

    We're the house that leaves Halloween decorations up until it's Christmastime–and then we put up items that would probably give Martha Stewart heart palpitations. We have a HUGE inflatable snow globe, Santa and his reindeer, another Santa, who looks like he's past his pull-date, whom we call Noel. It's a mishmash of big, loud, fabulous decor that our children helped choose when they were small. It makes me nostalgic for the days when their Christmas lists had things like Play-Doh and Baby Alive on them. ❤

    We also love driving around looking at Christmas lights. Everything looks so…happy.

    Wishing you all love and light this holiday season!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You make me want to put up twinkle lights! I bought a cool metal tray last year and I had thought at the time it would make a neat centerpiece if I filled it full of Christmas ornaments. Your post inspired me! I just implemented said plan and now my house is all “ho ho ho!!” 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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