One of several of my Christmas fantasies is that I find myself in a villa on a tropical island. I can look right out the open doors past my patio and there is a perfect sandy beach, a blue sky and a bluer ocean. The air is soft and moist and warm without being hot and a delightful breeze cools me wherever I go. I don’t have to go anywhere if I don’t want to. They will bring anything to my room. When I want to go out there are lazy places to go where I can go in my bare feet. I can sit all day in a sand chair with my feet in tropical water. Maybe some little fish will bite my toes. I might spend some time in a hammock. I might spend some time in a Tiki bar. What does the tropics look like at Christmas? What is the best tropical locale to visit at Christmas time? Someday I will find out. In the meantime the internet will take me there. Ah, twinkle lights in paradise!
Twinkle lights are one of mankind’s greatest inventions. They’re pretty and they’re cheap. They brighten up the dark nights when we have just gone into Daylight Savings Time, that weird American anachronism that makes it dark by 5 pm. I guess we continue it, even though it was once intended for farmers, because it makes it lighter for the morning commute and for the children standing on the bus stops all over America waiting to be driven off to school. Twinkle lights, for the most part, appear at Christmas time and are gone sometime after New Year’s Day. A restaurant or a shop may display twinkle lights year round but a village is also limited to Christmas time. I live near a winter attraction called Lights On the Lake which displays millions of twinkle lights gone wrong. They are in tubes and are wired to frames. They are used to light up Disney-esque displays usually with a holiday theme. These kinds of tamed twinkle light displays are not as pretty as twinkle lights in a tree or decorating a house. Kids love them and they appear to be animated as the lights move across the road that runs through the display. They are marvels of engineering or mechanics, but too cartoonish to qualify as pretty.
My own twinkle light display this year is very simple. My old farm house does not provide outdoor electrical outlets so I have to push a cord out of the mail slot on the front porch. This makes my own light display very limited but for what it’s worth, here is a very bad photo of my lights. I will also include a photo of my spirea bushes with their dainty leaves dusted with the first snowfall of the season. I may be obsessed with spirea bushes and twinkle lights but everyone needs a fairly innocent obsession.