I love lights; footlights, spotlights and especially Christmas lights!
Perhaps it's because it gets so dark so early now. The sooner the lights go up on the storefronts and street-scapes, the better.
Montréal is quite beautiful this time of year. My favourite spots are McGill around Ste-Catherine. and Old Montreal.
My earliest memories of Christmas lights are those old ones that heated the home nearly as efficiently as a space heater. They would come out of a box in a tangled mess.
I would sit on the floor in front of my Grandfather and hold one end while he, under the propulsion of a stream of blasphemies, magically manipulated the ball into a string. Then the task of testing each and every bulb began and would continue almost into New Years. My only recourse to avoid insanity was to sing a long to the Christmas standards on the radio.
This bulb testing project demanded a lot of attention. If you missed one or forgot where you were on the string, you'd have to go all the way back to the beginning and start again. My singing was seen as a distraction and a occasional cuff to the head would refocus me to the task at hand - well at least until the next Brenda Lee song came on.
Sitting in this position in front of my Grandfather wasn't uncommon in our home. My Grandfather came from a hunting and fishing tradition. I 'd sit in front of him holding the two hind legs of a recently deceased rabbit as he pulled the skin away and over it's head.
The absolute worst was when he went eel spearing. There would be a potato sack of squirming eels next to his feet. He'd pull one out, still very much alive, stick a couple of forks….(In the spirit of the holidays, I'll leave the rest to your imagination.)
Back to Christmas lights and my song selection for the day. Can we see a house fully encased in lights and not think of Griswold and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"?
Although I have been likened to "Griswold" on several occasions - especially by my kids – I could never hold a light bulb to "Clark Griswold" who, next to the reformed Ebenezer Scrooge, burns the torch of Christmas spirit the brightest. The movie is a must-see every Christmas.
Although I love Mavis Staples' "Christmas Vacation" theme song, the song from the movie that brings me to tears each time I see it is Ray Charles' "The Spirit of Christmas".
What's your favourite Christmas movie?