December 9, 2012

Lighting Up Christmas Feelings

I have a confession to make; I love Christmas lights on houses this time of year. Okay, so that might not seem like the most secret of confessions, but considering I do not decorate my house, at all, for Christmas time, it is quite an admission. I really have no reason to not decorate other than I just do not want to. I like the Christmas holiday season just fine. I appreciate the emphasis on love and family. I just do not like to decorate. I’m not a very decorating-kinda gal.

But I love other people’s decorations. For real. I love to drive down the road and see houses all glowing with Christmas lights. Simply put, it is just pretty.

I live in a rural state, so I often have the opportunity to really see Christmas lights off in the distance. To see them from a mile off and then watch as they come into clear view is just beautiful. There is something magical in how Christmas lights look.

I am also not picky about the lighting. I appreciate the type-a Christmas decorations as much as I do the haphazard, artsy kind. When I see a house with straight-line decorations, all in the same color, with clear ruler and leveler attention, it just warms my heart. Then when I see the cluttered, multi-color, thrown all over the yard lights, I can’t help but smile. If I am honest, the latter is likely more how I would decorate than the former. I’m not very type-a with my decorating. Heck, I’m not very type-a about much. But I do appreciate the time, effort, and work that goes into the perfect decorations.

I have to confess something else, though; I do not like the blow-up decorations. I understand why people have them. I get that others find cuteness in them. I just do not. In Christmas decorating, I want lights—plain, old, simple lights. I do not want a Christmas scene playing out on a house or on the lawn, nor do I want so much Christmas light that the beauty becomes awash with the sheer magnitude of lights. The pure and traditional Christmas lights are what appeal to me most.

There is something about Christmas lights that really draw home the sentiments of this season for me. Perhaps it has something to do with the simplicity—I mean, they are just little light bulbs—that reminds me of the ultimate beauty of this season. No matter our religious beliefs or our cultures, Christmas time is about love and beauty. For me, Christmas lights reflect those. They inspire both love and beauty in me.

Like I wrote above, I do not want it to look Christmas threw up on the houses, but I do love Christmas lights. Whether one puts them up with precision and perfection or one throws them around allowing the Cosmos to create the art, when someone takes the time to put up Christmas lights, I see love and attention.

And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love something shiny?

Image Credit: Natursports / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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