Brightening the Holiday Season

Brightening the Holiday Season

As I was walking to drop off a letter in the mailbox across the street, I saw the season’s first Christmas tree going up. Here in Basel there’s a lot of preparation that goes into the Holiday decor. We won’t be here when they turn on all the lights for the first time. When we get back from a family visit in Minnesota, Basel will officially be awash in all the Holiday Lighting and I simply cannot wait.

I remember as a teen my parents would load us up into the family vehicle and cart us around, specifically to go look at all the lights. At the time I didn’t enjoy it honestly, so I find it ironic I now get so bent out of shape as I watch all the preparation and cannot wait until they switch on the lights.

Using light to celebrate at this time of year goes back before we have recorded history, but we know candles were used to celebrate the Winter Solstice as well as many other religious holidays. Ultimately, however, it was the Christmas tree, which was a popular German and Irish tradition, that made its way into our hearts and homes by the 19th century. Queen Victoria and her husband Albert also solidified this popularity when they published a drawing of their family gathered around a lit Christmas tree. It wasn’t long before people all over the Western world were lighting their trees with candles.

Christmas lights and light bulbs actually started at roughly the same time. Before most people even had electricity, the string of Christmas lights was already paving the way. Thomas Edison’s partner,and an inventor in his own right, Edward Johnson brought about the string of Christmas lights. Initially, they were insanely expensive and out of reach for the majority. After President Cleveland put Christmas lights on the White House tree, the popularity of the concept was cemented. It was only another decade or so before they became affordable enough for just about anyone to own and we’ve never looked back.

 Christmas Lights Fairy Print

We now associate the Holiday season with these little lights which have been joined by projectors and laser light shows. The magic of these Holiday lights piercing the winter darkness entices innumerable people out into the cold to enjoy the sights, bringing us together every year. In the wee hours, when most of us have finally turned in to sleep, the Fae can have a turn enjoying the lessening darkness during the short month of December. There are also those who don’t appreciate unnatural light so don’t be too surprised if some of you have trouble keeping your light bulbs working throughout the season.

Leave a comment