Something occured to me tonight as I was driving to my brother’s house,  looking at all the Christmas lights. I passed this one house, or apartment, actually, in the area Alex refers to as “the flats” in Norwood; it had all the windows on one floor covered inside with a dense almost web-like pattern of tiny multi-colored lights. I said to myself, in observation more than judgement,  “Someone actually thinks that looks good.” And then I thought, “someone thinks each of these houses looks  nice. And look how different they all are.”

And that’s when it hit me.  Christmas lights are analogous to life in a pluralistic, multi-cultural democracy such as the United States. lol

For real, though, look around and see the diversity in illumination even in your own neighborhood. You got the delicate white icicle lights, big gaudy red, orange, blue and green ones, flashing ones, non-flashing ones, tiny ones that look like cupcake sprinkles, plastic Rudolphs and Jesuses, whole houses covered from basement to rafters, other houses with just candles in the windows. I even saw one house where someone had rigged a hot hair balloon up.

There’s so much diversity. And at each house, at least one person in there thinks their array of lights – often so different from their neighbor’s – is beautiful.

This is a country of diverse and divergent tastes, cultures, religions, traditions, and economic situations. This shows up in our Christmas decorating. Some people can afford big displays, others can’t run up the light bill. Some celebrate; some don’t. Some go all out, others go small and subtle. Some have plastic Santa genuflecting in front of baby Jesus (I’ve seen this…) others have Rudolph stapled to their roof . And I say- we’re better off for this range .

It’s nice when neighbors coordinate – like I sort of did with my duplex-neighbors. But it’s also fine if every house looks different on the street. Because it’s Christmas and everyone should celebrate their own way (keeping it legal and mainly respectful lol. ) And we should enjoy living in a country where self expression of this type is possible.

So if you want to go with the trendiest new stuff, or the old-school, the bright, or the muted, the classic, or the plastic, or the fire hazardy, whatever you like, go for it.  You do your thing.  To each their own, e pluribus unum and amen.

Danesco Lights


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