When I was a kid one of the high lights of the year was Christmas. Not so much for the presents that Santa might, or might not leave. But because of the Christmas lights.
Every year around Christmas my mother, and father use to load all of us kids up into our old blue and white Hudson Hornet, and off we would go in search of the magical Christmas lights.
There was seven of us kids, so the old Hudson Hornet was packed as it sped around town. I remember how much fun that was, and I still remember how unbelievably beautiful those Christmas lights, and decorations were. My sisters, and brothers, and I would sing, and shout , laugh, and gasp at all the magic we encountered. It was always the best part of Christmas for us.
Of course things have changed a lot since then. When I was a child we didn’t have any thing like global warming, or at least we didn’t hear about it, there was no energy crisis, our water ways hadn’t been polluted, and the environment itself wasn’t yet in crisis. It was a very differen world than the one I live in today.
I suppose Christmas is a reflective time for many of us. The other night I drove to a friends house, and on the way happened upon this beautiful home all lit up with colorful lights, and Christmas scenes. The Christmas scenes were in motion, the Santa was on a sleigh which slid across the top of the house, and back again. There were raindeer, and little elves sliding back and fourth across the lawn. It was really quite stunning. When I first came upon it , I flashed back on my childhood. And for a moment remembered those magical Christmas outings with my family those many years ago.
My nostalgia, however, was short lived. I am no longer a child, and those lights that I once loved as a child, no longer hold any magic for me. As far as I’m concerned their just another way of wasting energy ,which is something we can’t afford to do. If we had been more aware back then of the long term cost of wasted energy things might be better today.
We are no longer innocent of what abusing the planet can do, what I didn’t know as a child, my child knows now. I have no wish to destroy Christmas for anyone, but on the other hand I would rather not see any more Christmas lights.
I know that I am never going to make any historic changes in regards to the problems we are facing today. But I can make small changes, we all can, and if enough of us make small changes those changes become significant.
Perhaps we can come up with something else to replace all those lights that still burn, and still waste energy during the Christmas holidays. I think we have reached the point where we need to rethink our way of life on every level.