I love the night time. I always have. It’s part of the reason I am ok working the nighshift. There’s something beautiful about the artificial lighting that we put on to see. When we do road trips, I’m the one who does the late night driving as well. Something soothing and calming about city lights on the horizon as they close in.
Neon lights are also some of my favorite things. I used to want my name written in a neon light- Joe that’d be cool. Or maybe some old arcade neon like Atari. But I do own a couple neon lamps that were once in my man cave, but are now stored away. I should bring them out again sometime. But now there are Christmas lights out. Everywhere.
When I was a child, I used to lay in my bed and stare at the Christmas lights outside my window. Sometimes I’d leave my NHL hockey team curtains open to watch as I fell asleep. I have no idea why I had NHL curtains and matching bedding. I was never into sports.
In the time of glass bulbs and frigid days, sometimes there’d be a light or two that twinkled at random from the eaves. Out on the streets, at every home you looked upon, there’d also be a bulb burnt out at some point. In the frigid temperatures of Edmonton, Alberta- people would be in too much of a hurry after work to get into the warmth of their home than bother changing a bulb. It was also neat to see the paint peel off of a bulb as the season went on.
Over the past decade or so, LED lights are everywhere. Brighter colours, longer lasting, and no need to change a single bulb anymore. And cheaper to run! One of our first electrical bills after putting up old bulbs was nearly four times higher than our regular bill.
I put our outside lights up a month ago in order to avoid the rain and cold that Vancouver has to offer before winter arrives.
This week, I have put up the garland and lights inside our home. Everything is getting festive. Our four trees (yes four full sized artificial trees) are set up with lights and ready to be adorned with ornaments this weekend. Decorating in stages. By next Wednesday, everything should be ready to rock until mid January.
The first few years of being with my wife, she would send me out on Christmas Eve with her brothers to drive around and look at the Christmas displays. Mind you, these were full grown adults who just wanted to get out of the house for a cigarette and make fun of my driving. A couple threats of “You better treat our sister really good- or else”. I think this was in jest at the time, but I’m a tad afraid to leave my wife- even sixteen years after meeting her. My wife and I kept the tradition up of taking our kids out to see people’s displays.
This season, we are planning on heading out again to see the lights. Every year, people are getting more and more creative. I love it. It’s always fun. Here’s a classic video of one of the first homes to set music to their lights- thus dawning the next generation of Griswolds.