Stacks Image 617
Christmas lights
Sunday, December 11, 2016
by:Timothy W. Shire
Decorating one’s home and property for Christmas has its roots planted firmly in the past but using lights for the display came to this part of the world with availability of inexpensive electricity in the 1950s. Not only has the tradition become firmly entrenched with property owners but with towns, villages and cities who also express their Christmas spirit and share the celebration that ends each year with lights.
Stacks Image 63924
In 1951 or 52 I vividly remember visiting an aunt and uncle who had a lovely fully dressed Christmas tree in their living room. They were not prosperous people and tried to make a go of it on their little farm in the Fairmeade area north of Vandura. It would be several years until farms in that part of Saskatchewan would get electricity.

They had come from Ontario and on their tree were magnificent large electrical Christmas lights the type that were made at that time. As a curious kid I asked what they were and my aunt explained that they were lights. My simple question at the time was why were they on the tree when there was no electricity, It was called “hydro” then. She explained to me that they put them on their tree because it was all they had for decorations. Now sixty-four years later that answer sticks with me and is just part of what Christmas is all about.
Stacks Image 63929
Stacks Image 63977
Though lighted air inflated objects are part of yard decorations we still have some wood cut out and painted displays that are then lit with flood lights. This one is located on Newmarket and is a really effective display. I have a great affection for this type of display because it was similar to the one my father made for the first Christmas we put up outdoor lights in our village of Langbank many years ago.
Last year there were a few yards and houses decorated with animated projected displays. This year there are many many more and people mix them in with actual lights on in some cases just light a part of their dwelling with the projector. I have not included any pictures of these in the sample of houses for this year because they are hard to photograph and I was having trouble with my frozen windows.

Punishingly low temperatures have been the order of each night this past week and no doubt that might one of the reasons so many houses do not have their lights or decorations illuminated. Most homes have some Christmas lighting or display but on Thursday night when I drove around only a fraction were turned on, I will give it another go another night and see if things are brighter.
Stacks Image 63969