A few weeks ago, my two-year-old and I were driving home late in the evening and she was just a bit fussy. To try to distract her, I got her excited about the Christmas lights that we saw. We'd pass one, she's be suitably impressed and occupied, and then... "More lights!"
Well, sweetie, that's not easy to do. They come when they come, and we live out in the country, so sometimes it can take a while. Still, we made it.
Then a couple nights ago we were all in the car together and we again got her to look at--and for--the Christmas lights. This time, though, her refrain is "I see more lights, please!" It's like her little brain is making neural connections at an astronomical rate or something....
I always loved Christmas lights when I was a kid. I referred recently to what may or may not have been the first time we enacted the tradition, but it absolutely became a tradition for us to drive around on Christmas Eve after the church service and look at light displays. Occasionally, we'd go to one of those all-out Christmas Village type things where you paid an admission fee to drive around and look at their displays, but mostly we just went to see what regular people had put up, free for the rest of us to view.
A part of me always wanted for us to put up some ridiculously detailed and inventive display of lights, but one way or another it just wasn't in us. I wonder what it is, though, that drives some people to create a huge winter wonderland on their front lawn while others decorate minimally (or not at all, though in that case there's often a very good reason, I suspect). This year, we didn't decorate at all, thanks to the move. We did put up the tree inside (that started as my gift to Lauren and ended as her first project before we settled in our first night (I put up the tree and got out the decorations, but I couldn't find the lights). Just yesterday one of our neighbors went from no decorations to enough white lights to read by without eye strain, so it's obviously not too late for us to decorate, if only we had the time or the energy. As it happens, we don't have either one. Anyway, since our neighbor's lights are powerful enough to blast through our black-out curtains, we really don't need to do any ourselves. I suspect our neighborhood is about to cause a brownout for the area anyway.