There is a group of terraced houses as we enter a village close to us that have got together over the years to set up a Christmas scene in lights. It has always been fabulous to see on dark December nights as it runs the entire length of their five properties, and brings a special kind of magic to the young children living there as they wait for the Christmas Eve delivery. The media often reports on such displays, these beautiful exhibitions of art designed to raise money for a number of charities at this time of year.
You can drive practically anywhere in the country, or abroad for that matter, and see a variety of Santas climbing chimney pots or ladders up the walls, elves making toys, sleighs on roof tops and reindeer grazing by Christmas Trees in front gardens under the watchful eyes of snowmen, all made up of hundreds, if not thousands, of coloured lightbulbs. It’s always charming to look at and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. For those who prefer not to overload their electricity bills, there’s a multitude of inflatables to choose from, though for me these don’t have the same impact or attraction.
Go to the other extreme though, and some people think they are the King and Queen of Light, when in truth it’s more Master to the Coloured Baubles and Mother of all that is Tacky. If anyone else decides to put up so much as a delicate string of pygmy lights that interferes with their ‘display’, the gloves are off and 500 watt PIRs are glaring in the direction of the offending party.
You can understand coach lights for dark driveways, even multi coloured solar lights planted in front garden flower beds but are 4 different coloured strings of fairy lights round a car port really necessary? Do the 3 upstairs windows each need its own tinselled Christmas Tree (with lights) even if they are different colours? Surely lanterns on the kitchen window sill don’t need the added trim of fairy lights round the window frame, as with every other visible window or door frame? It’s also a shame that the lovely large fully decorated and real Christmas tree in the dining room is blocking out any natural daylight.
As each set of lights wink out of sequence to each other in some bizarre kind of dyslexic Morse Code, migraine sufferers reach for their sunglasses, medication and have to retire to bed.
You can argue that it’s their electricity bill and no doubt the power companies are rubbing their hands in glee, but this is not a themed display. This is nothing to do with raising money for charity. It’s a mess. It’s a pretentious mass of disjointed coloured light that is far from pleasing to the eye and confusing to anyone trying to make any sense of it.
One thing is certain though. If more continue to be added to such a collection, planes are going to miss the runways completely and attempt to land on the roof!