I love bringing light into the house during winter.  Where once I was a bit of a snob about this sort of thing I now can’t get enough.  I especially love the battery operated lights – as my creativity can run riot and I am not limited by the position of sockets.

I can’t really remember how it all started although I suspect it involved browsing at the local garden centre one January, being enticed by twinkling things  and the 50% sale.  I remember my first set of lights were multi-coloured ‘fairy’ lights in the shape of flowers.  Since I had no tree these were draped over the tall cabinets at the back of the living room.  Subsequently this single strand of joy has been joined by many others – white, bejewelled, and pretending to be holly.  Each year I end up buying another  set of lights and each year I think I could do with more.

My major breakthrough came when I finally bought a set of lights intended as a window display.  By putting these up and turning them on each evening  I let the street know my little secret – I suspect none of my neighbours could guess at the riot of lights and festive frippery behind my closed front door.

This year I am particularly pleased as I have managed to incorporate the bathroom into my light display – a usually neglected area for festive decorations.

Of course, me being me, I like to think that rather than just being suckered in by clever Christmas marketing I am tuning into ancient, pagan rituals of light to defend against the darkest months. That somehow as I move through the house at dusk, switching on my displays, I am a high-priestess of brightness or medieval chatelaine determined to brighten the darkest days of my household.

The reality is more a silly, middle-aged woman flicking switches to make the rooms look pretty.   But whatever – the end result is the same.  The solstice marks the turning point from dark to light and I want to celebrate that.

Where once I was very much in the ‘bah humbug’ school of Christmas decorations I now relish my conversion to the ‘bring it on’ academy.







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