Category Archives: Christmas Lights

Reflections Of Reflections

The lights might be down outside, but the tree’s still up – too busy this month to get to it yet. Late at night, when all of the other lights are off, you can see it reflected off of the china cabinet doors and the sliding glass doors and both and back and forth.

Maybe I’ll wait just a bit longer before taking it down.

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The Night Returns

It’s always a melancholy night when the Christmas lights come down. The tens of thousands of festive lights, marking and celebrating the weeks surrounding the Winter Solstice, driving back the long nights – they’re all gone and the the night returns.

Tonight the moon, a couple of days past full, is helping to keep the darkest of the dark at bay. It’s always a pleasure to see it rising beyond the trees and the lights of Los Angeles.

Up near the zenith, winter’s guardian, bold Orion is bright – but not as bright as normal. (One of these days we need to talk about Betelgeuse. What’s up with that?)

The cycle will go around again. Spring is coming, the days will get long, we’ll roast through the summer, then the days will start to shorten again and next Thanksgiving we’ll decorate and light up the night.

Until then…

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Never Too Many Christmas Lights

So, here’s the “new” lights I put up on the far side of the driveway this year, as seen from the back yard, looking toward the street, as I was doing the traditional Christmas Day BBQ last night:

A) Because they’re pretty and I like them, and;

B) Because all of a sudden instead of relaxing at this time of year, between the holiday and shopping and wrapping and trying to get the (late, late) cards done and in the mail and work and the budget and prepping for year-end close and the hangar and prepping for year-end close and annual audits for both coming at me like a freight train, I’m slightly busier than God, so posting a single picture and a (relatively) short rant, it’s all I have time for if I want to at least get five hours of sleep tonight… (wait, has this thing been on the whole time?)

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Christmas Day 2019

I hope that everyone had a Christmas Day that was as calm or exciting as they wanted or needed, with as much or as little drama as requested, and that everyone had been good (enough) this year so that Santa brought them what they wanted.

If you didn’t get everything you want, it’s never to early to start planning for next year.

Here’s a short video of our lights turning on:

And a picture of what it looks like after dark:

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, y’all!

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Christmas Eve 2019

It was a new Christmas Eve tradition – Chinese dinner

The tree and presents are ready.

I hope you and your family have a most happy holiday filled with laughter and love, no matter what your celebrations entail.

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Full Of Holiday Cheer Yet?

Someone at the office who will remain nameless (it wasn’t me, really – I wish it had been, it was brilliant) brought in an inflatable, life-sized figure from a popular Christmas movie. It was set up where it stared at me all day. (Brilliant!)

Then I was staying late to get something finished up and came around the corner to find it STILL trying to scare the crap out of me even when deflated.

So, are YOU full of holiday cheer yet?

No? Better get your ass in gear, Bubba, it’s Christmas Eve in twenty minutes!!

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Solstice 2019

Contrary to what the Evangelicals might want you to believe, the solstice really is “the reason for the season.”

It’s the longest night of the year. Our ancestors, whose most advanced technology was that newfangled “fire,” knew what today was. Their lives depended on it. Millennia of hard-won wisdom had taught them when to plant, when to harvest, when to hunt, when to store, all based on the cycles of the stars and the sun.

Orion’s bright these days (well, except for Betelgeuse, but that’s another story), the days are short, the nights are long, and those who didn’t understand the wheres and whys of it all had to have wondered every year if this year might be the year that the days just kept getting shorter and shorter until they disappeared altogether.

But it wasn’t. From here, over the next weeks and months, the days will get longer and warmer and the world will turn green again.

Either as an offering to the unseen, unknowable gods or as a celebration of having made it to the day alive, celebrations centered around the solstice go back to the dawn of time. Myriad tribes, nations, and religions have all appropriated the occasion time after time for their own celebrations (looking at you, Christianity!), mainly to avoid standing out like a sore thumb and getting killed for their beliefs.

Today it’s all about the commercialism and that portly dude with the white beard and red suit, our own appropriation of the time for our own true religion. Well, that and Hallmark Christmas movies. Which might be the next wave of appropriation.

It’s parties, year-end pressure, the pressure to find the perfect gifts, all topped off with maybe a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

And lights. To fight the darkness, even when we lived in caves, we fought off the darkness with light. If the skies couldn’t provide it, we would make our own and light the path for the warmer days to find their way back to us. That tradition carries back right to the strings of lights covering our yard, house, and bushes. I’m not sure that our prehistoric ancestors would have understood the 20,000 tiny, colored LEDs, but they would have appreciated it.

Tomorrow the day will be a little bit longer.


Filed under Astronomy, Christmas Lights

Northern-ish Lights

No aurora in sight, especially this far south, ESPECIALLY with all of these city lights (hey, if it gets to the point where I can see aurora here under these conditions it will probably be a “bad day” – google “Carrington Event”) – but I did put some Christmas lights up on the north side of the property. Does that count?

Along the driveway there are some of those “big bulbs” that are just a little white LED inside a 3″ colored, lightbulb-shaped, plastic shell. The bushes there aren’t much more than knee-high at best, but they look great in this shot from low to the ground. All of those little rose bushes are there in between – maybe I’ll get another set or two of lights in there before we’re done.

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Up On A Ladder Again

It was sunset (nice), ten days before Christmas (coming at us like a freight train), during one of the very, very, VERY few chunks of time per week that I have as discretionary or recreational time, so what am I doing?

Putting up MORE Christmas lights, of course!

Some of these aren’t exactly what I thought I was ordering, but they’re not too bad. I think they’ll grow on me.

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That’s A BIG Ornament!

I got home tonight just in time to put the biggest & brightest ornament up at the peak of the garage roof!

It looks gorgeous up there. The best part is that it doesn’t cost a cent to light up like that!

Perfect placement, right there at the peak!

Wait! Wait! It’s floating away!

It got away from me. Too bad, it looked perfect there.

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