Elizabeth Willis Barrett…………January 2022

I loved Christmas this year!  To those who know me, that is a very surprising and welcomed declaration.  I’ve always loved the gathering of Christmas, the fun of being together.  It’s just the getting ready for Christmas and the getting unready from Christmas that has hindered my total welcoming of the season.  This year was different.  If I had to say what made the difference, I think I’d have to say—the lights!  

Last year, we didn’t even try to put lights up on the house, even though we made sure when this house got built that there were plugs along the roofline to make electricity accessible for Christmas lights.  But which of us was going to make the dangerous trek up a ladder to the roof?  Not I!  And not Brad either as it turned out.  I’m sure someone would have been glad to put up our lights for a price but we didn’t know who that would be and since we are way off the beaten path, maybe it didn’t matter that we didn’t have lights.  But, in retrospect, it did matter.  I could put up the tree and all the other stuff inside, but without lights outside we looked quite Scroogy and felt so, too.  

So lights were a priority for our 2021 Christmas. We decided to buy all white lights and find someone to put them up for us. That way we could leave them up all year and use them for other occasions—you know, like wedding receptions, bridal showers, parties—events that we actually never have!

In Brad’s research for light hangers, he found something remarkable: lights that are left up forever that you can program with any colors you want.  With those, every holiday could be celebrated with a bit of knowledgable action on a smart phone.  Whoa!  They sounded perfect.  

When the super friendly Level One Lighting saleslady came out to tell us all about these great Jellyfish Lights, we were eager for the go-ahead until she measured our house and told us the price.  Our eyes got big and our hands got sweaty. Never mind.  Go back to plan one—regular white lights.  

But then the justifying stepped in.  We still had to buy all the white lights.  We still had to find someone to put them up.  They might get saggy and worn in our brilliant Arizona sun.  They would have no variety or color.  With the Jellyfish lights we could celebrate not only Christmas but Halloween, the Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day and every other holiday on the calendar.  We could even celebrate the kids’ ballgames by shining their school colors all over our house.  

So—the bullet was bit!  

Our teeth are still feeling the jolt, but as Aaron Rose is googled to have said: “In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.”

And Christmas was extraordinary.  The lights made a difference—along with our kids and grandkids who make everything extraordinary! We lit up the house with a different pattern of Christmas colors every night for days. They cheered us.  Our house has become celebratory. 

After we celebrate this year’s many holidays with their own events and exciting colors, I will actually look forward to Christmas 2022.

Let there be Christmas! Let there be light!