Blinky Strikes Again | Christmas Light Traditions | by Lauren Cop

This time of year dazzles with all different kinds of lights. Whether Christian or otherwise – these months are full of bright shining lights. Colored, white, blinking, shimmering, and in a variety of shapes they bring happiness to everyone around. There are amazing light shows, lights decorating downtown, and even in the home. The tradition of light during winter can be traced back to the celebration of winter solstice (a celebration of light) in lighting of the Yule log; as well as early Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanza traditions. The first Christmas tree with lights occurred in 1882 by Thomas Edison’s business associate Edward Johnson. Once a status symbol, the Christmas lights are now a regular occurrence and make the season merry and bright. (Dean) It doesn’t matter who you are, generally speaking there is some kind of new light in your home during this time of year.

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As a child, this is what I looked forward to most during the season: the candle in my window, lights on the tree, and of course putting lights out in the front of our house. My father was always into bright colored lights with lots of character. Each year we tried to out-do the last with different styles of lights. We mainly put them in the bushes and on the front porch, windows, and of course our Christmas tree. We were not the Griswold’s so to speak. However, some of our neighbors were more traditional and only put white lights outside. My family and I felt that every house should have some fun with their lights whether they blinked, sang, were colored, in shapes, animals, etc.… Now before I get deeper I should mention that the people in my neighborhood were very close. All celebrations we had together, kids constantly running through the houses and yards, parents having dinners together, and even our dogs played together. We were a community family in every sense of the word. Even though most of the kids have moved away, and some of the neighbors as well, we still stay in touch and try to attend each other’s major events. It is because of this closeness that we felt comfortable with improving upon one of the family’s lights. Therefore one Christmas season when I was a teenager my family and I decided to add some color to our neighbor’s house – and that was when Blinky was born.

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Blinky is the pseudonym that my family chose for obvious reasons, we love lights that blink! So one night my parents, three brothers, and I decided it was time to take action. We crept down to our neighbor the MacD’s house and added a blinker, singing M&Ms (their favorite candy), and pink flamingos with a colored string of lights. All of this was added while the family was eating dinner as we were outside in all black making our mischief. Once finished we crept across the street where I called their house in fits of laughter saying “Blinky has struck”. Of course our neighbors were confused so I told them to come outside and see what we did. We all had a good laugh and they were generally surprised. I believe we even drank hot chocolate and talked of our excitement of the season. The father of the MacD’s is a rocket scientist so it took only a few mere seconds for him to find the blinker and cut it off. The whole process was exhilarating. For the rest of the holiday season my brothers and I anxiously awaited retaliation that was promised but it never came.

That is until the following year – when they came back with white lights and pink flamingos hanging from our trees! We all had been to church that evening and noticed that the MacD’s had left in a hurry – only to continue our fun tradition of improving the neighborhood lights. Since those first two times we went back and forth for years ‘improving’ upon each other’s lights. This ultimately led to getting other neighbors involved as well. We have used blow up pandas, words in lights, pigs, singing lights, colored lights, blinkers, wooden contraptions, and even a stand up Joe Paterno (we lived in Yardley, PA) dressed as a woman! Our Christmas light games not only traveled the neighborhood but also continued with one of our neighbors to Atlanta, GA. Every year each neighbor saved the décor to be used for the following year. It was a wonderful tradition that continued until I was in college. I hope that at some point we can revive ‘Blinky’ again! So watch out Yardley Crest… we maybe back!

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Listed below are just some clever light traditions that I thought would also bring you some joy to keep in mind during the next holiday season. And who knows – maybe you could add them to your neighbor’s property too – but only if they are family of course!

Christmas Balls – Genius and looks gorgeous in snow
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Shooting Stars – Elegant and can be left up year round if necessary
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Wrap a Tree – I always find this difficult but love this guide
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Pyramids – Simple geometric shapes are some of my favorite decor options
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Ice Luminaries LOVE this! Wish I lived in an area that I could do this year round… oh wait… that’s why I moved in the first place… never mind!
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No matter what your preference, lights do bring joy and are a wonderfully fun tradition. The beauty of glowing orbs can brighten up any landscape during this season. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with them – they will bring more joy to the ones around you than you can imagine. Keep up the traditions and add to the wonderment of the season. It is a relatively inexpensive decoration that truly does add something to the season. They even warm the hearts of Grinches like me. So get out there, be creative and enjoy the rest of the season! I hope your holiday season stays merry and bright! : )

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Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins by day and coaches Volleyball and Track in her “me time”. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

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6 thoughts on “Blinky Strikes Again | Christmas Light Traditions | by Lauren Cop

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