This year has been a challenge in many ways for most of us; challenges few, if any, of us have experienced before. But we’re fast approaching Christmas – the festive season, season of goodwill and a time for families to get together. This Christmas will be different. How different we’re not quite sure yet as the government guidelines change on an almost daily basis.
A bright end to the year
Christmas is an important time – something celebrated far and wide by people of all nationalities and indeed, faiths. It’s a time for families and friends to come together and a time rich in traditions – from roast turkey with all the trimmings to Christmas pudding, stockings full of gifts for children, adult gift sharing, mince pies, decorations… and of course the lights that will don many a Christmas tree and light-up many a home.
At the end of this less than bright year Christmas lights will be a metaphor of sorts for many.
Which Christmas lights?
In many cases, lights are often the most prominent or obvious of decorations that go up around the home at this time of year – encircling a Christmas tree, around door frames, across picture rails and sometimes used elaborately in nativity and Christmas scenes created for outside the house. It’s obvious but Christmas lights brighten a tree, room, hallway or space in the home in a way that other seasonal decorations can’t.
These days Christmas lights come in a range of shapes and sizes and starting at under £5 will suit all types of budget. The different types of lights available now compared to what was around in my childhood is quite amazing. Red berry lights, chaser icicle lights, copper cluster lights, stars, lanterns, fairy lights, candy canes and reindeers – and that’s just the top of a very long list of options.
Where to put your Christmas lights?
Beyond your Christmas tree – the obvious place for a set of lights – have a think about the different rooms and spaces you want to have that extra Christmassy feel. A small set of red berry lights would enhance a table setting or wreath on your front door. Star curtain lights can brighten far more than just curtains. Think also about the room or space where you’re going to put the lights. Is that space better served by something subtler with a red glow or will that space be better brought to life by a bolder set of ice white cluster lights?
Involve the kids
A fun way in approaching which Christmas lights to choose and where to put them is if you have children of a certain age. (Though don’t rule them out if at first, you think they might be a bit old for this.) What would they choose? Where would they put them? You can broaden it out by involving them in what you do with the rest of the Christmas decorations. Just because the tree went in one particular corner of the living room the last umpteen years couldn’t it go somewhere else for a change? And Christmas Cards… dwindling by the year as they’re replaced by an array of quick and easy digital message options but still nice to receive. Where should they go?
Christmas is a wonderful time of year – a time for families and friends to get together to share meals and gifts. Most of all it’s a magical time for children when memories will be made and treasured. A lot of planning can go into a family Christmas. Creating a warm and inviting environment – one that’s familiar yet a little different – goes a long way to creating a memorable experience. This year, more than most, people will be looking forward to Christmas with a heightened sense of anticipation. A brightly decorated home with a selection of Christmas lights on display goes a long way to setting the scene for a wonderful family Christmas.