Posted tagged ‘window candles’

“Stars of heaven, clear and bright, Shine upon this Christmas light, Vaster far than midnight skies Are its timeless mysteries.”

December 19, 2017

Last night it rained. The snow became pockmarked by the raindrops then most of it disappeared. The last of the snow is soft and wet. It was cloudy this morning, but I can see blue sky now and a hint of sunshine. Today is already 49˚ but it will be cold again tonight.

When I was a kid, the closer we got to Christmas the more difficult it was for me to breathe. I was in a constant state of excitement with all the Christmas doings. I loved the late afternoon when my brother and I raced to turn on the window candles. The best, a five candle tier, was in the picture window. It had all orange bulbs. The candles were sort of an off-white plastic, and most were taped to the window sill so they wouldn’t keep falling over from the weight of the bulbs. We had to screw the bulbs on as there were no switches. We had to screw them off as well, but we never raced for that. The bulbs were always hot to the touch. I used to lick my fingers before I touched the hot bulbs.

My mother kept us busy to distract us, to keep us calm, a huge undertaking. My favorite day was when we decorated sugar cookies. My mother made Santas, bells, trees and angels. She’d have bowls of white frosting and colored frosting in green, red and yellow. None of us were particularly talented. The trees were the easiest. I’d color them green, naturally, then I’d make strings of yellow and red lights. Santa was a bit more complicated because of the white pompom on his hat and his beard. The key was to frost the red parts first and try to leave space for the white. My Santas tended to look all the same. The angels got the yellow frosting. Sometimes we’d cover the whole cookie in white then we’d sprinkle with green or red or colored jimmies. That was usually when we had gotten tired and maybe a bit bored.

I always thought that at Christmas time everything seemed to look different, as if the world around me was covered by an aura. Even now I sometimes think that, especially at night when the air is clear and the sky star-lit and Christmas lights shine from the houses. Last night I went around and turned on my tree lights. In the kitchen I turned on the red pepper and scallop shell lights entwined around a shelf. I stood for a while enchanted by how lovely my house looks at night, how warm it is, how perfect for Christmas.

“The light teaches you to convert life into a festive promenade.”

December 21, 2014

The Winter Solstice is official at 6:03 EST tonight, the longest night and the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere. We are moving back to the light.

It always seemed unfair somehow when darkness came so early. We had the street light curfew so winter afternoons for playing outside were short, and if it was cold or snowy or windy, we sometimes didn’t go out at all. We played games, watched TV, did our homework and read. The afternoons felt endless. Supper always seemed to be late, deeper into the early evening, but it wasn’t. The early darkness fooled us.

Today is the same as yesterday, a grey day, and it’s cold so I’m glad I don’t have to go anywhere. The inside Christmas lights are lit so the house looks bright. Multi-colored lights are my favorites for the tree though I do put a strand of white lights around the trunk, starlights in the middle of the tree. My window lights are white candles, bright white candles, which shine in a circle of light above the bulbs.

It is easy to create beauty this time of year. The tree is in my living room in the same spot it always is. Sometimes I stand at the edge of the room just to look at it. I’m always taken by how lovely it looks, a bit of bias I suspect. My dining room is lit by the window candles and by the small tree in the corner. The table runner is bright red and green. The centerpiece is a tree made of blocks. Each row is a word or phrase spelled out in the blocks. All of them have to do with Christmas. It was once my mother’s. My kitchen has a red pepper bunch of lights and a string of scallop shell lights. I never mind going from room to room to turn them on. Their light is welcome especially tonight.

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

December 8, 2014

Today is so bitingly cold I didn’t even bother to go out to chase the red spawn off the deck away from the birdseed. I did watch from the window and thought of ways to discourage it now that I haven’t the hose. The potato gun is still in the top spot, and one of those blaster squirt guns has made the list. My poor birds can’t get at the feeder so I am determined to rid my yard of this vermin.

The weather is cold, dark, damp and ugly and will stay ugly all week as we’ll have rain for the next few days, and winter rain is seldom welcomed. Even running to the car means getting wet and being cold. The roads get icy. Stopping often means sliding. I sometimes slide right by my street as the icy corner is difficult to maneuver.

I hate scraping my windshield. Sometimes the ice is so thick it takes a monumental effort to clear. Two of the best reasons to retire are not having to scrape the windshield or leave in the dark for work.

I remember when we used to decorate the picture window with snowflakes, stars and snowmen. My mother usually bought the kit which had paper stencils and a spray can of fake snow. One of us would hold the stencil while the other sprayed. We’d take turns. It was a popular decoration when I was a kid, and most houses in my neighborhood had snowflakes on their windows.

My father always decorated the bushes in front of our house with strings of lights. The bulbs on those outside strings were huge and bright. We’d watch my dad from the windows and when he was finished, we’d all run outside to see the lights. My house at Christmas was always beautiful to me. Candles with orange bulbs were in the single windows and a five bulb holder was in the picture window. The bases of all those candles were white plastic, and my mother sometimes had to tape the bases to the windowsills so they wouldn’t fall. Every year we’d pull the old yellow tape off before using the new tape.

Darkness was the best time. We’d plug in the outside lights then run to the windows to turn on the bulbs. That was done by hand, turning each bulb until it lit. Christmas always brought light to the darkness.