Most people turn on their Christmas lights relatively late,

when they get home from work, after supper, or in the evening.

During the darkest months of the year, I turn them on about 3:30-4 p.m. when twilight comes early, remembering the schoolboy I once was coming home in the encroaching dark, cold from school or frozen after delivering newspapers after school. (Yes, that’s when newspapers were delivered by children once upon a time. And few people also had/could afford outdoor lights in the 1950s.)

A matter of timing and audience actually. I know that young people and others are made glad by the least sign of color in the great white wilderness that is Canadian winter; that it warms them up to think that people care enough to pleasure them in this simple way; that there are kindred spirits/neighbors who share beauty with and for them.

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