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Happy Season of Lights

December 1, 2021

Happy Season of Lights

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

                On this first of December, I am wondering if you have put up the outdoor lights or turned on the Christmas tree lights inside yet?  ‘Tis the season of lights!  What are your holiday memories of Christmas lights?

                Before the onset of “fairy lights,” my family and I, in the 1950s and 1960s, carefully and almost reverently untangled the strands of lights that we would balance upon the boughs of our fresh evergreen trees and then, in later years, a six-foot artificial tree.  For my earlier years of celebrating Christmas, our strands of lights included three very special lights which were called “snowball lights.  These two-inch in diameter, round bulbs were coated with a thick glass glitter which did create a snowball-look.  One was yellow, another was blue, and the third was red.  Amazingly these bulbs lasted for surprisingly numerous holiday seasons. 

                Another special light on one of our strands was formed in the shape of a Northern Cardinal–bright red with touches of black.  We used a type of clip to try to get our cardinal to perch erect on one of the selected boughs.  Indiana and six other states have the Northern Cardinal as the state bird.  For many years, our lighted Hoosier Cardinal poised upon our Christmas trees.

                Nevertheless, the most fascinating, mesmerizing lights were the bubble lights which included clips to try to have the candle-shaped lights to stand straight.  When the bubble lights warmed to a certain temperature, bubbles formed and could be seen through the clear glass that was shaped like a candle stemming upward from a multi-colored base.  Also, the liquid inside the clear glass was in a variety of colors.  After our original set of bubble lights no longer worked, I purchased some from Miles Kimball for my own Christmas trees when I moved into my own apartment.  Later, I added a set of lights that were shaped like candy canes.  These festive lights were almost the size of traditional red-and-white candy canes of the edible variety.

                Back to our trees at our home in Blanford, Indiana–those original strands of lights which I recall had bulbs which were much larger than fairy lights.  Ours were multi-colored.  At one point, my parents purchased reflectors for these lights.  The reflectors included an outer layer of silver with an inner layer of red, blue, green, or gold; some were star-shaped while others were a scalloped round design.  These reflectors kept heat from the fresh evergreen boughs, but also magnified the beauty of the lights.  I am certain that our neighbors and other passersby could better see and enjoy our Christmas lights with the reflectors beneath the bulbs.

                Most frequently, my dad placed the tree in the stand and also adorned the tree with the strands of lights.  Then, my sister, my mother, and I decorated the tree with a variety of garland, ornaments, keepsakes, and “icicles” (as we called them) while one of our pet dogs observed the happenings. 

                When the time came to top the tree with our very special angel (which I still have), we made certain that one, two, or three lights spotlighted the radiant angel of ivory and gold.

                During those decades of my Indiana Christmases, all who placed the lights, enjoyed the lights, opened gifts beside the warmth of these lights, and ate holiday meals in the glow of these lights–were blessed with peace and joy.

Wishing you the peace and light of this season of miracles,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

December 1, 2021, Wednesday


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  1. Happy Season of Lights – yes, it truly is a glorious and joyous season.
    I plan to bring out tree into the house today and to begin the process of decorating. We bought the new Blue Spruce tree last year and purchased large shimmering ball ornaments for on it. For this year, I bought new wreaths for our three doors. We keep it simple these days. Not at all like the weeks of preparations that we used to do when the children were all at home. I enjoyed reading about the different kinds of tree lights you had over the years. and it brought back many of my own memories. Those bubble lights that looked like candle – were the best ever. My brother still has them on his Christmas tree each year, as well as the very large bulbs – the new technologies recreated the look without the amount of energy that our vintage ones used. Christmas Day is when all our children and their families come here and it’s quite a busy and fun-filled time for us.
    I wish you the very best of all Christmas activities this year, Alice. I know you must be very pleased to be back in your own favorite home.

    • Holiday Greetings, Lynda–Belatedly, I do thank you for your wonderful
      comment on this holiday post.  How interesting to hear your holiday
      recollections!  I am certain that your decorating for the season is
      spectacular still.

      Enjoy the beauty and wonder of this Christmas season!

      With yuletide thanks,

      Alice and Willow

  2. joanmyles permalink

    Wishing you Love and Light during this beautiful season and always, dear Alice!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your Christmas memories, Alice! Wishing you and Willow a Christmas that is merry and bright!
    Holiday Hugs,

    • Season’s Greetings!  Mary–Thanks for commenting on this holiday post as
      you prepare for Christmas and also a festive dinner with friends
      tonight.  Enjoy!

      With yuletide thanks,

      Alice and Willow

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