One of the most beautiful sights during the season are the many holiday lights draped over and tacked onto anything that will hold them. When I was a kid, getting out the box of Christmas lights was so exciting. No matter how pretty the tree looked or how fun the ornaments were, it just wasn’t truly the start of the season until the holiday lights began flickering. Our first step in unpacking lights back then involved attempting to detangle them, because they were usually just hurriedly thrown back into the box. The second was to plug them in and make sure they still worked. Back then, they were wired in a way that if one bulb went out, the entire string would fail to light. So, a frantic hunt to find the offending bulb was usually included in this step. We had bulbs like the ones shown here. They were freakishly large and so hot to touch that they caused a less joyous annual tradition – the Christmas Blister. But once lit, they were gorgeous so it was totally worth the casualties, assuming, of course, the tree failed to ignite into flames.

These days, our tree has tiny LED lights flickering on it, so there’s no longer a threat of first degree burns. The best part of our holiday lighting is that we’re still using a fun little Hallmark invention called the Treeluminator. This was something I acquired a couple of years ago that appears at the end of the movie I worked on called Northpole, during my brief stint as an Executive Producer. It looks like a miniature dynamite blasting machine, only festively red with a candy cane colored plunger and it’s completely wireless. Combined with little remote sensors strategically plugged into the various outlets around the house, everything is then prepared for a bit of elf-like fun. Each day, we just have to press down on the plunger and little song or countdown plays before magically illuminating the entire first floor of our home. It’s brilliant!

Not all lights are indoors this time of year, of course. A drive through the city is always a colorfully lit treat. Here in Kansas City, there’s a stunning light display in a large outdoor shopping district with Spanish-inspired architecture, called the Country Club Plaza, where every building is outlined with glowing color. The Plaza Lights come on during a public lighting ceremony Thanksgiving evening and stay on until mid-January. And that’s pretty awesome. It helps extend my favorite season, which always seems shockingly short once Christmas arrives. Since we’re so glad to not be traveling we’ve been hiding at home each evening and haven’t even ventured down the street to see them yet this year. But it’s so good to be home for Christmas. Enjoying each evening, relaxing with a glass of wine and listening to music, while sitting in front of our glittering display of holiday lights.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Sennelier Red, Red Orange, Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine Deep, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 13 - Holiday Lights vintage Christmas light bulbs string
Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

16 replies on “Holiday Lights

  1. They are so beautiful! The translucency and reflection is spot on – it’s so exciting, it’s like the lights are going up for real. 😛 I can just about remember these big’uns – I think my grandparents were rocking similar specimens for quite a while after far safer options had become available. Certainly I remember being told not to touch the lights, for the last time keep away from the lights! 😉 But they certainly were very attractive, as you have shown!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They are glorious, aren’t they. I like to say they’re an important source of light, for it is so dark this time of year. Therefore, best put as many up as physically possible 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your lights looks beautiful you really doing well with metals and glass Charlie! And I btw I have seen the Northpole movie 😀 it was so cute my daughter enjoyed at that time this is too funny thinking that you had something to do with it…it is just fantastic!!! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks so much, Annie!! 😃💕 Shiny glassy and reflective things are by far my favorite thing to paint! I guess that’s why I end up with a lot of practice! hehe You’re awesome at people and characters, though, something I can’t quite get the hang of yet. (they just aren’t shiny enough! lol)

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