Light ‘Em up

IMG_2120I like the Lights.
When I grew up, the Tree was put up on Christmas Eve.
Children awoke Christmas Morning and were told that Santa came and put up the Tree in the Night.
Parents are Amazing in their SuperPowers & what they can come up with…
The Lights and the Decorations were all a part of that one brief event: Christmas.

It has all grown very secular
And that’s fine if it makes it more accessible for more people.
Celebrating Kindness…
Celebrating Giving…
Celebrating Gratitude…
Celebrating God With Us…
All of these things are Christmas to me!
And all of them can be celebrated with a string of Lights, or a SnowFlake, or a Wreath or a Drum, as well as anything else.

Bergdorf's Holiday Windows 2015, celebrating the Crystal Ball

Bergdorf’s Holiday Windows 2015, celebrating the Crystal Ball

I don’t know why anyone would pick on StarBucks for their Red Cup design which I find quite Festive.
All the Decorations that I see these days appear to be Lights and Snowflakes and Bows and EverGreens.
Sometimes the effort to pander while avoiding any mention of Christmas can be jarring
Like the Lighted Globes along East 59th Street.

Lighted Globe along East 59th Street in Manhattan

Lighted Globe along East 59th Street in Manhattan

Playwright LANFORD WILSON in his 1987 play BURN THIS
offers this Wonderful Monologue:

“You have no notion of the stupidity involved in designing a Christmas card for a national company. Especially if it’s Chrysler. Just for starters, there are a hundred seventy religions in America and only one of them believes in Santa Claus. Nothing religious; that would offend the non-believers. Reindeer are out — Santa Claus again. No snow; that would offend California and Florida. No evergreens, holly, pines — out of the question — mistletoe, no bells. They said the only thing everyone believes in is the family and children. I said that was only going to offend homosexuals… I said it as a joke; they bought it…They’re still battling it around, but they’re leaning toward a car. Which is tantamount to saying the only thing everyone believes in is the automobile…
I have no quarrel with that. A little plastic Chrysler that you can or not hang on your Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush that says ‘Seasons Greetings from Chrysler Corp.’ Made in Taiwan, appropriately. It’s too complicated, production will get fucked completely, it’s going to be late, and the cost is astronomical, but we won’t have offended anyone.
Except anyone with a modicum of taste…”

Yeah. It’s Chryslers too.

Nativity in the Living Room

Nativity in the Living Room

But, you know, I Love it All!
As for me, I’m a Good Little Italian Boy and you will find somewhere around nine to nineteen Crèches of varying sizes on display in my Home at this time of year…
I get that that’s not for Everyone.

Nativity in the Kitchen

Nativity in the Kitchen

In the midst of Winter, that Invincible Summer…
In the midst of Darkness, that Unerring Light…
In the midst of Disappointment, that Unwavering Faith…
In the midst of Sadness, that Burst of Delight…
That is for EVERYONE!
That is for YOU!

So, My Advice this Christmas:
Relax All Exclusionary Policies.
Let Go of any Encumbrances.
Dance Past Impediments.
When you Stumble, Make it part of the Dance.
Savor every Taste.
Take in Every Scent.
Delight in Every Shining Light — Especially those from Within!
Listen — Really Listen — to Music.
Make Things.
Allow yourself to be distracted by Every Shiny Object.
Allow yourself to Try Something New!
Allow Yourself a Moment’s Peace.
Celebrate the JOY in Living!
Bake. Even if you never have before.
It’s really FUN!
Find three new things you Like about each person you meet —
even if it’s someone you have always known.

My Annual "King of Kings" Display, featuring KONG, ELVIS, TUT and CORETTA SCOTT...

My Annual “King of Kings” Display, featuring KONG, ELVIS, TUT and CORETTA SCOTT…

Celebrate this Holiday Season
And the Prophet BARBRA STREISAND who told us, at the conclusion of one of her many farewell concerts,
“Take Care of Yourselves and One Another.”

A Photo posted on FaceBook recently of a Holiday Lights Display from Kanova, WV... It all Works!

A Photo posted on FaceBook recently of a somewhat peculiar Holiday Lights Display from Kanova, WV… It all Works!

We are approaching the Winter Solstice.
Tuesday December 22nd marks the longest night and the shortest day of the Year.
The Most Darkness and the Least Light
Shine Your Light!
Open your Eyes to the Shining Light of Others (even if they may be unable to see it in themselves)
Bask in the Light that Surrounds You!
All the Lights that Surround You!

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Leave a comment


  1. Lauree

     /  December 20, 2015

    Love love love this

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Rose Ann Sausto Harrigan

     /  December 21, 2015

    It is wonderful to read about how you are still in touch with your memories of Christmas as a child and how you still enjoy all of it, especially the lights. In my suburban neighborhood, this time of year the lights framing windows, doors, and rooflines are accompanied by huge blow-up characters adorning front lawns including Santas and reindeer, snowmen and penguins, Rudolph, Mickey, Minnie, the Grinch, and Snoopy, as well as others plucked from Christmas songs and animated TV productions. I find myself smiling when I pass my neighbors’ houses, but I am more entertained by my thoughts of them dragging these lawn ornaments out of the basement each year than actually seeing the spectacles themselves. I also wonder why they don’t mind supporting the regional electric company; I prefer to keep my pennies, or at least spend them elsewhere. Though my decorations are simpler and more “green” – an evergreen wreath on the door and a planter of holly and pine adorned with a red bow at the top of the front stairs – I am still letting the world know (or at least anyone in the world who passes down my street) that I celebrate the season in some way. Despite 12 years of attending parochial schools, followed by seven years of higher education at a Catholic university, my Christmas is secular. No nativity scenes nor babies in a manger, no shepherds nor kings; just one ceramic angel resembling a toddler in a winged gown much more than it does a Michelangelo-inspired cherub. Just as you say above, the season is about kindness, and love, and community, and the joy that comes from inner Peace. I bake, prepare the seafood feast for family on the Eve of Christmas, shop and wrap, and even display a 3-foot pre-lit tree in my entryway, but for me the season is about giving to others, having the opportunity to see family and friends while sharing laughter, good food, and that SPIRIT- that SPIRIT which words cannot fully articulate, which celebrations cannot fully cultivate, which gifts, decorations, and even the taste of the most delectable of ginger bread men cannot fully inspire. The SPIRIT of the highest power – Love and Truth and Purity. Although I am on this earth for more than half a century, I do not understand why it is just a season and not a way of life. Then again, for many of us, perhaps it is a way of life, and it just manifests as snowflakes and stars in one season, flowers and vegetable gardens in another. I wish you and all those you love an abundance of health, joy, love, and fulfillment of dreams. Dear Arnold, may you always be blessed as you bless others with your inspiration and kind heart. Love and Peace.

  3. harry, gordon, mac-margolis

     /  January 7, 2016

    fuck you, hojo…. wink, wink, smiley face. and love you.


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