creating Christmas* day 3….the outdoor lighting

Dunham Massey at Christmas
Dunham Massey at Christmas

I don’t know about you but I love to see twinkly outdoor lights at Christmas, though they are increasingly becoming a year round occurrence and I have mixed feelings about that as it does water down the Christmas season and the feeling it is something special.

Today we attended to our outdoor lighting, I say we, but in reality it is DH that does most of the technical stuff – attaching cables and timers and winding lengths of lights around branches. I daresay he does it just for me as if he were on his own I doubt he would bother at all.

I would love to say any of the more spectacular lights in the photos above are our lights but of course they are not….the one below is actually ours. A simple Christmas tree with tiny lights and a star on top and to the side (off picture) we have a few more in the climbing Clematis. But they look quite effective as you approach the house.

When our two girls were young we would all pile in the car one evening after tea during Christmas week and drive around the neighbourhood to survey the lights awarding people first, second and third prize with a highly commended for anyone who had made the effort but it had just not worked out. You will know the ones I mean where they have started to decorate a tree or the edge of a house and partway have run out of lights.

My friend and neighbour up the road here would fall into this latter category and now they have moved I will miss Mr J’s efforts at decorating. Urged on by Mrs J and a bit of nagging Mr J would eventually put a single ring of lights around the bush at the end of their front garden. Every year it was wonky, as if he had just opened the front door and hurled it onto the bush, and every year it looked forlorn as if there were more lights to come but they had run out of time. It was the only Christmas gesture he made and he didn’t make it quietly but Mrs J had to be satisfied with his effort lest he took the whole thing down again!

Although I would never decorate my garden to the extremes some people go to there is something quite appealing to me to come across the house and garden that has been decorated to within an inch of its life. There is always one to be found on every street and I think they are good fun; though how the neighbours sleep with the multi-coloured, show stopping, flashing lights all evening I don’t know.

My own outdoor decorations seem pretty minimal in comparison but I always look forward to a bit of twinkle, whatever we can manage. Some years we have done more and some less. Last year I hung some large silver baubles on our Cherry tree in the back garden – I bought them years ago from a junk shop, I think they had been shop window decorations. I was pleased with the effect but they didn’t fare too well in the cold weather up here and the coating came away in patches and some broke. I suspect they were not really for outdoors but they were nice whilst they lasted. This year I have more pressing things to attend to and hanging the baubles won’t be one of them.

Once done DH can relax and his only other Christmas obligation is to fix the real indoor tree securely into the pot when we decide on one. I think he is all in favour of the small rooted ones that come ready to put in place in a decorative pot – it cuts down on the effort to wedge a larger cut one in place and lift it into the living room whilst avoiding losing all the needles.

I usually complete the outdoor trimmings by adding a wreath or spray on the door or filling my wire cone with Christmas flowers – but that will be another day.

Today we had a stroll down to the village after lunch to post birthday cards and parcels. I have so many in December including my younger daughter who is 40 this year and my neice on Christmas day. They are all extra tasks on an already lengthy To do list. The walk was a welcome break though and we kept off the main roads as much as we could as the traffic is just unbelievable – where is everyone coming and going to?

Tomorrow I have one last birthday to attend to, a dear friend who is 70. After I have sorted a card for her and the present I will get back to the Christmas list. I have baking to do and the cards – perhaps I will toss a coin.

How are you Christmas plans going?

7 Replies to “creating Christmas* day 3….the outdoor lighting”

  1. I love a trip out to see the Christmas lights. I tried to persuade Lily into going out last night but she was tired after a busy week. We’ll go one evening soon, I hope.
    Your outdoor tree looks lovely. X


  2. We were in Edinburgh in the last week of November and were surprised by the number of Christmas trees in windows. As our house renovations are still ongoing I think the most we’ll have this year are our Swedish illuminated star and some warm white lights on a branch in a pot at the front door. Warm white – never ice white. It’s cold enough as it is!


  3. Your outdoor tree looks lovely. I love the star on top. I don’t have anything on the top of mine at present.


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