Bright Lights

My mom had such style. She could take dime-store items and make them look classy.

So, it's Christmas, 1972. Brady Bunch. Laugh-In. Love, American Style. Marcus Welby, MD. Oh my gosh, and The Movie of the Week. You had to sit around aallll week to see a new movie! Polyester photo shirts. Bell bottoms. The first time around - on boys and girls. Hip huggers - but only on the "bad" girls.

Oh, I digress.

We'd just gotten finished with Thanksgiving and here comes another holiday to decipher: this time, Christmas. Are you old enough to remember the big fat Christmas lights? The ones for the tree were about the size of your thumb. (Remember, this is the era of the aluminum tree.) I remember every once in awhile, a too-dry tree with lights left on would start a house fire! The ones for the outside were huge. Like, the size of two thumbs. There weren't those cute white blinking lights or the icicles or the blanket of lights. You could only get them in strings like, ten or twelve feet long, and connect them and hope a bulb didn't blow. To hang them on the eaves, your dad had to get up on a tall ladder and hammer nails in. Then he had to untangle them from last year and risk his life and limb hanging over the ladder to reach the end. A few cuss words were known to hover in the neighborhood air.

What happened in our town, which was 99.44% pure, white christians, was that every house was covered from shingle to sill with these gigundous, multi-colored lights. I remember one year, sitting in the front porch, at my mother's direction, unscrewing all the multi-colored bulbs off the strings of lights, and screwing blue bulbs on. Our white, wood-clapboard bungalow in central Pennsylvania then glowed with strings of blue lights, peaceful - standing out from the garishness of the neighborhood.

I thought my mom was the greatest in the whole world.



AmyP said...

We put up our tree last night with big, fat, multi-colored lights! I love it. They are the lights of my childhood and therefore the only "right" lights to decorate my tree. Fortunately Jeff is easy going. =)

Grace said...

Yeah, the big fat bulbs. Too cool! When I was a girl, waaaay back thenn, one of the neighbor girls had an aluminum tree in their apartment. At the time I thought it was ugly. Now, I'd love to have one, for nostalgia's sake. But have you seen their prices on eBay? Yikes!