But I do love to drive around during the weeks leading up to Christmas for a look at holiday lights. These are a few of the snaps I took prior to the big snowstorm that hit Washington last weekend.
They look a little bare, in that context, don't they? But I find myself charmed by the simplicity of some of these light displays. I like the honest, simple honor of the holiday.
Or exactly what do these little critters signify? Love of all things bacon, perhaps? A sausage fetish? I have a friend in California whose last name is Lamb; she puts lighted sheep figures on their front lawn at Christmas. Maybe it really is the Hoggs, Hawgs or maybe bikers (people who ride 'Hogs') living inside?
I liked this picture again, because of the intensity and the simplicity of feeling. They only put up one strand, but it was nicely done, wrapped around in the branches of a small, unusual tree in the front yard. This next one reminds me of my past life in Southern California. You can see it from half a block away. You know why it reminds me of Los Angeles?
And finally, my favorite picture. This house is half a block away from my apartment. I like it best because of the kind of lights that are on the tree: red and green and retro. They are the larger bulbs, about 3/4 of an inch, just like the ones my Dad used to wrap around the tree when I was very small.
He'd put up the lights, plug them in and stand back for a look. After a few adjustments, he'd give the go-ahead, Mom would bring out the boxes of holiday ornaments and a couple of packages of extremely environmentally unsound tinsel and we'd be amused for hours.
And every few nights thereafter until Christmas, we'd gather there at the end of the day to sit with the lights out and sometimes, sing carols.
I guess that's what it all boils down to for most of us: a simple reminder of holidays past, family far away and emotions we thought were packed away that suddenly come to the surface at the sight of a simple strand of lights. At least, I hope you're having that experience again this year.