I love lights! City lights, night lights, candle lights, Christmas lights..... In fact, I would have to say that one of my favorite things about this time of year is seeing the Christmas lights! When I drove through my Highland View neighborhood tonight all lit up, (and which has some great displays and is worth a drive through yourself) I wondered what stories could be told about each home I passed and the lights illuminating them.
At our previous home our two boys were just in Junior High when we moved there from Washington State in 1996. They were always there to help my husband put up our Christmas lights each year. They slowly moved from assistants to the ones in charge. The years they were old enough to drive but still young enough to have my credit card for gas and emergency purchases, were costly ones in terms of light purchases and increased power bills! Seeing their excitement and joy, though, always made it worth the money they spent.
The year we moved to our current house, our oldest son had joined the Air Force and was no longer here so the Christmas lights were left up to my younger son. Our house sits at the top of a hill overlooking the neighborhood. The back of it, at the time, was pretty much straight up and down. He came up with the idea of hanging lights from the peak of the house on the second story and spreading them at the ground to form a tree of lights. With the help of his cousin their tree turned out beautiful. They even made a star of lights to sit at the top of it. It could be seen from various points throughout the development and enjoyed by many.
That son has now moved as well and the job of the lights has gone back to my husband. The Tree of Lights has evolved over the last four years with many more stories. The second year we lived here we put up a covered patio across the back so the lights could no longer drape down at a natural angle as they had to go over the roof of the patio. My husband tried for a couple Christmas seasons to design a pole he could mount to the roof of the patio toward the edge where the lights could be hung like they once had been on the eaves. One year the tree glowed for a few weeks before a big storm came through and snapped the pole in half. Broken light bulbs were everywhere! The following year he and my neighbor were up on the roof trying to install a "new and improved pole" when it snapped in half before they even got it up! He eventually got it up that year but we held our breath with every storm that came through.
Two years ago, I had one of my rare but absolutely brilliant ideas. One of those kind you wake up in the morning with and somewhere during your sleep it had come to you. "He needed to use our flag pole from the front yard." It was sturdy and could be raised to get the lights up and lowered in case of a storm. It has worked out surprisingly well and is much easier to put up. My husband is quite proud of that tree. Of course we still think of our son when we see it and it is still evolving. Now that it is sturdy, I have given him a challenge to add color to it to resemble garland or to top it with a star. We shall see.
Funny thing about our kids - they all still put Christmas lights up each year no matter where they are. Our oldest son put Christmas lights up in the barracks while on deployment in Djibouti several years ago, our younger son (and middle child) and our daughter (and youngest child) put them around windows or wherever they can in their little apartments. I'm glad they can find joy in such simple beauty.
The Christmas lights we see when we are out at night may be just fun for us to see and enjoy but to those who live within, I’m sure they have unique family memories that live on like ours and have great stories behind them. What would yours say?
To check out Highland View Christmas Lights in El Dorado Hills turn onto Appian from Silva Valley and just explore the different streets.
DeeDee Riley - El Dorado Hills Realtor - Lyon Real Estate - CABRE#01499004
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