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.