Blinkin Lights


I showered after a day in the sun, marvelling at my browned oops that may just cause cancer later in life but oh well it’s the 70’s skin I dried myself, combed my wet hair and put my Christmas nightie on.

Christmas was so exciting. I twirled around the lounge room, my toes tangling in the shag pile carpet, it was good to be alive. My Dad agreed that this would be the night we would put our Christmas tree up. We waited in anticipation as Dad did the boring laborious Christmas tree assembly. I sat ready to offer assistance once things got a bit more interesting, like hanging ornaments or throwing shreds of tinsel on the tree that would clog the vacuum for the next 6 months. After what felt like an eternity of Christmas tree assembly, pine needle decoding and frustrated huffs we were ready. Ready for the lights.  I watched in awe as my Dad wound the string of lights around the tree. Predicting perfectly the length of lights he started at the bottom, painstakingly winding up and up and up until finally, he came to the end of the lights right at the top of the tree. Well done Dad!

My family gathered in the lounge room in excited anticipation.

“Bec, I think it’s your turn to turn the lights on this year.”


Springing to life I catapulted towards the power point, I grabbed the plug, thrust it in and turned on the switch with as much pomp and ceremony as I could muster. I swung around to gaze at the wonder of our Christmas lights and… nothing.


Not a single light was working.

Oh dear, we forgot to check the lights before we dressed the tree.

Slightly deflated, Dad proceeded to undo his handiwork and I trudged off to bed.

Because back in the day, if just one globe on your string of Christmas lights wasn’t working, then the whole string wouldn’t shine. You would go through the painstaking process of checking each globe until you found the sick globe and fix it. Then you could enjoy the twinkling string of healthy lights.

Not like today. Today you just throw the bunch out and grab a new lot. Disposable lights. No one wants a dull globe ruining the party, get rid of it, move on.

Like dull people. People who are sick or hurting or broken are such a buzz kill. I guess it’s easier to discard them.

But I reckon the old string of lights are the kind of lights I want to belong to. The kind that notices if you have lost your shine, the kind that stops and waits if you are having a hard time, the kind that doesn’t treat you like you are disposable, the kind that makes you want to share your light.

Christmas lights, celebrating Christ.