|Our outside tree lights attract a crowd
||[Dec. 10th, 2011|02:47 am]
I was very happy this year, that we could get our tree lit. I couldnt afford the bucket so I had to hope that last years lights at the top of the tree would work. Luck was with us and they did go on when tested. The rest of the tree however needed patch work. My nephew and I added about sixteen hundred lights, took down a few dark cords and it looked great!
We light the tree on Thanksgiving evening. Usually the whole family gathers and we do our best imitation of Whoville and after many a wise comment someone hits the switch. It was Alyce this year,and if you're interested in how it went, there is an odd sideways video I posted in my Facebook page. Be prepared for the kind of comments that you can only get from a family gathering on Thanksgiving :).
There is a reason we shoot for a Thanksgiving lighting. When my brother and I were young we always traveled on Thanksgiving. Visiting grandmothers, aunts or uncles. Having dinner in anyone of four states, all reachable in a couple of hours or less. My parents had worked out a deal where we would travel in November and that let us stay home in December. Christmas family would visit us. The travel was kind of fun for the most part. Sometimes it meant going to a home with a color TV, our home didnt have one. It always meant that the ride home would be all about looking for Christmas lights. I never forgot how much it meant to spot the first lights of the season on those nights in a dark car headed home. So when I first moved into this house I knew I wanted to light the tree in the side yard, and have some lights on for anyone on their way home, and looking for some fun. I just love the idea that the young and young at heart might be looking for this huge tree to get there season started, and possibly to keep that light burning until the New Years.
So with all that in mind, it might help you to understand why the knock on the door,last Sunday, was kind of special for me. It was early in the evening, just after dark, and our visitors were a woman and her two daughters. She wanted to know if it was ok for the kids to go up close to the tree. I told her that it wasn't a problem as long as they didn't touch the wires. The girls, about 2 and 5, immediately jumped their stroller and made their way under the tree. It seems looking up thru the tree at the lights is way cooler then just standing near it and looking at the outsides. The mother explained that they waited every year for the tree to be lit, and then just about ever night until Christmas they'd either walked past the house or drove by so they could see the tree. Alyce later said I couldn't have invented them any better then who they actually were.
The family turned out to be good people, and before they left they came inside, hid under our living room tree,ate sugared pecans that Alyce had just finished making. The kids acted like they had lived here forever and just ran around the house with our dog like they owned it. When all was said and done I think we'll be seeing them stop by again the week before Christmas to grab some gingerbread, or butter cookies, and visit Linus when the indoor trees are decorated.
It was all an unexpected, and a really fun surprise, and it made all the effort to get the tree lit more then worth it.
That by itself would have been enough of a reason for lighting the tree, but then tonight,again in the seven to eight o'clock hour, another knock on the door. Alyce opened the door and caught about eight or nine college students in mid-carol. Carolers on the doorstep! It was just about the coolest thing that had never happened before. I ran back to the kitchen and as the second carol started I was back with molasses cookies for everyone. When I got a chance to ask them why, they answered that they just thought it would be fun and a house with a tree like ours might appreciate it.
When we were young we would sometimes carol with the church, but that would be with specific targets in mind. Often old folkes homes, or shut ins. This was just kids having fun and it made it kind of extra fun for us.
So, so far its been an odd and great holiday season. I have the batter for butter cookie cutouts in the fridge and we cut and decorate tomorrow and Sunday. I cant wait to see what might come next :O