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My name is Colleen and I find dead people.

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04 December, 2007

Advent Calendar December 5: Outdoor Lights

This next edition of the Advent of Christmas Memories among genea-bloggers asks:

Did people in your neighborhood decorate with lights? Did some people really go “all out” when decorating?

Above is the house I grew up in in Niagara Falls, NY. It was a great place to grow up. Off to the right you can see the fruit trees we had (apple, pear and cherry). I'll never understand why dad planted that tree in the middle of the front yard (it ruined our football field).

Anyway, we did decorate the house at Christmas. We strung lights (the big bulbs, non-flashing (did they have flashing and/or mini-lights in the 60's and 70's?). The lights would frame the house along the top. My dad had made a big star out of plywood, then covered it in aluminum foil. He drilled holes along the edges of the star and strung lights around the star and hung it on middle rail post of the porch. I'm sure if we currently lived there, we'd have added animated deer, inflatable Christmas characters, lights in the trees, etc. This is the house we lived in when we lived in Tempe, Az. We framed the house top with lights (I don't remember if we used the big ones or minis), but that was about it.

We always decorated the inside of the house, too. We hung a wreath, garland, stockings on the fireplace (in NY; we didn't have a fireplace in Tempe), and anything really that looked Christmassy.

Since I've lived on my own, I have always decorated the inside of my home. Until this year, I'd lived in apartments, so there wasn't much I could do outside. But I always decorated inside. Last Christmas I found out rather suddenly, two weeks before Christmas, that I was going to need to move and do so within 2 weeks to accommodate a change in the family. Since I already had decorated the day after Thanksgiving, I had to take everything down before Christmas. Now that was depressing.

This year I'm in a house. I got a big tree (artificial and pre-lit ... what a WONDERFUL invention). And I got outdoor lights, as well as an animated reindeer and an inflatable snowman.

By the way, an even better invention than pre-lit Christmas trees? A Christmas-light hanging toolkit that includes an extendable pole and plastic clips. I didn't need a ladder to do the outside of the house ! (I get excited over the simplest of things). Below is a picture of my first outdoor decorating venture, though it's not the best quality, since my camera isn't too good at lights at night. To the right there is the nose of the lit, animated reindeer. This weekend I'm going to add lights around the post of the arch between the snowman and the reindeer and a grid light set over the bush you can't see in front of the snowman.


Blogger Thomas MacEntee said...

Your story of having to take all the decorations down brought back a memory of my mother: we had an artificial tree and Mom needed a new one. So at an after-Christmas sale, she saw a great deal and brought it home. Of course, you need to make sure it has all the parts, right? So, we undecorated the old tree and redecorated the new tree!

3:56 AM  

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