My oldest sister, Ann, loved candles in the windows at Christmas. She used the ones that were a row of candles, not a single candle like my neighbor’s house pictured above. Remembering her love for candles in the windows every Christmas is a memory I hold dear.
When Ann and Gary became empty nesters and moved after having lived for many years in the same house, she insisted their new house had to have lots of windows for her Christmas candles. And she found the perfect house just for that.
Ann also loved to put bubble lights on their Christmas tree. She had other strands of regular lights on her tree, but woven around the tree she also had a set of bubble lights. There was something comforting and welcoming about those lights, and I can’t explain what it was, it just was.
I always looked forward to going to her house to see her candles in the windows and her bubble lights on her tree. Before even reaching her driveway I would be eagerly straining for the first glimpse of glowing candles lighting up the windows and thinking how Christmas-y they were.
I also remember one year she and her husband decided to cut back on what they did for Christmas. A pastor’s message on being too commercial for Christmas caused them to go very minimal that year. But everyone in the family was miserable. No candles in the windows to light up the dark nights and no tree with bubble lights to remind them how much they were Ann’s favorite.
Before the holidays were over she was ready for the next Christmas season to come. She missed the traditions that were meaningful to her family. She had cut back too much. Next year would be different.
She had an entire year to think about different ways to make Christmas more meaningful and how to better focus on the birth of Jesus and still continue the meaningful activities their family enjoyed.
Next year she would practice more balance. And the candles would definitely be back! Next year, everyone who drove down their street or came to their house, would be glad Ann’s house had her candles in the windows.
CHRISTMAS on MEMORY LANE
A Christmas series where yesterday's stories warm your heart today.