I hope the people in that house don’t mind that I took a picture of it. They’ve put up really nice decorations and it was the first mostly clear night we’d had in days, although I do like that I got some clouds in the shot and at the top center of the picture there’s a bright dot that’s Jupiter. I thought about going up and knocking on their door and asking, “Hey, do you mind if I share this picture of your house on my blog?” But they might have been eating, or in the middle of something, and there would probably be awkward questions like, “Who are you?” and “Are blogs even still a thing?” The house also has an expansive front yard and no matter the answer I could imagine the walk back to my car being somewhat uncomfortable.
I’ve always been fascinated by how people decorate their homes for the holidays. Mostly the decorations are Christmas-themed but I see the occasional menorah and quite a few inflatable Hanukkah Bears with dreidels, and those always make me smile.
A few times when I was a kid my father and I would go drive around Nashville looking for houses with lights. One year in the late ‘70’s I remember we had trouble finding any, even in the upscale neighborhoods. My father said that with the energy crisis people were probably cutting back.
Still I wished my family would get Christmas lights to put up outside our house, and I asked year after year. Finally my father got a few strings of candy-colored outdoor bulbs and put them around the holly bushes in the front yard. And I realized something: when you’re in a house with outdoor lights you don’t see them. Well, I could get up and open the curtains and if I pressed my face against the window I could sort of see some of the lights on one of the bushes. But really the lights were there for other people. They were for anyone driving by which, since we lived on a cul-de-sac, would mostly be our neighbors.
I was still glad we put them up and would have been happy if anyone passing by happened to take a picture, even before blogs were a thing.