(The post title is from Neal and Leandra’s song, Boswell’s Lights, which appears on their album Angels and Fools. Highly recommended.)
Putting up outdoor Christmas decorations was not something we did much of in my childhood. Most of the time we were living in rented or military housing, and that may have had something to do with it. When we lived in Connecticut, my parents admired the colonial houses with one simple candle in each window – as do I. Here’s a picture of one from our neighborhood:
Unfortunately, although I would like to do this, I suspect our dog Rusty would make short work of them as soon as he saw a squirrel outside.
We did enjoy an occasional eveing drive to see decorations others had put up, and this continued once Onkel Hankie Pants and I formed our own family. For the many years we celebrated Christmas Eve at my in-laws’ home, the short drive home with sleepy children still awake enough to exclaim at the lighted houses on dark streets were a magical part of Christmas.
One year, after a few months of empty-nesting as our son was in his own apartment and both girls were in college on the East Coast, we got one of those inflatable snowmen and installed it on the front lawn with a sign reading “Welcome Home Sister Aimee and Little Nell.” (The “Sister Aimee” was a nod to Cordeliaknits’ newly-discovered, and now fulfilled, call to the ministry). They were both suitably embarrassed!In our “new” house in Maine, we have sometimes decorated the three concrete lions in front with greenery or Santa hats. And since our house was built in 1951, it has a picture window through which our lighted tree can be seen all the way down the block.