One of the loveliest things to me is this time of the year and seeing Christmas lights and decorations (and Halloween decorations, too!). With two and a half weeks until Christmas, we’re beyond the meme period where people complain about the lights going up too early. Imagine yucking on someone’s yum, as the saying goes, I think!
But think about this: People spontaneously and of their own volition decide to decorate their homes with Christmas lights and decorations because … it’s lovely? For other people’s eyeballs? For their own personal fulfillment and joy at doing it?
I find that beautiful, and if you will indulge, a beautiful reflection of how gosh darn lucky we are to exist in the time that we do, even within the last 100 years when the tradition became more ubiquitous. We are so fabulously wealthy relative to the brutish existence of 99 percent of humans within human history, that we have the time to do something superfluous like hanging Christmas lights on our homes. To please others and ourselves.
Which also goes to the point that aesthetic is a big part of human joy and flourishing. We like looking at pretty things and lights. It makes us feel good! It has nothing to do with our survival as a species. There is more to human well-being than that which allows us to continue to survive and propagate.
And we’ve gotten safer and better at this lovely tradition, too. Instead of putting literal candles aflame on Christmas trees, as was tradition before the proliferation of electricity, which caused many fires, we now use the wonder of electricity.
Imagine putting actual candles on your Christmas tree. I’m cringing at the thought because it seems so dangerous.
It’s just interesting to think about how traditions begin, continue and evolve over the years.
For the record, I’m one of those people who, if I had to pick a preference, prefers the classic look of white Christmas lights on a tree or a house. I don’t mind the colorful ones (but ew on the all-blue ones), but white just looks so classic!
Anyhow, that’s my mush brain caused by Tuesday work inspired musing for ya.