Two photo challenges this week have prompted me to think of one family’s Christmas effort. The WP challenge was ‘Grand’, and Ailsa’s challenge was ‘Symbol’, in honour of Nelson Mandela. Well, last night, here in Canberra, I found a ‘Grand Symbol’!
Lights are a symbol of hope, always appropriate at Christmas. And when someone wins the Guinness World Record for the year for the most Christmas lights decorating a property, it’s because they’ve made a grand effort.
Last night we drove to the winning house and I took some photos. My camera’s not great for night photography and my skills are barely even those of an amateur, but you’ll get an idea of what it must be like to live in the same street with such a winner. All the surrounding houses were remarkable for their darkness; perhaps they feel a pointlessness in competing. This grand display might even be a bit hard to endure night after night through the Christmas period: there are traffic controls at that end of the street, cars parked up and down all the nearby streets, and of course the multicoloured glow for several hours.
We walked through the garden of lights, entering on the left side of the front yard and exiting at the right. Strings of LEDs, many of them white, some of them red, blue and green, flashed on and off, not rapidly, but at regular intervals changing the show. For me, the glaring white was not pleasant and kept me from lingering long amid the display. It had the effect of mid-summer sunlight on white concrete. In the past, coloured lightbulbs were warmer and, indeed, more colourful. But I know, I know, they’re not ‘green’.
However, I appreciate the effort these people have put into their decorations, and it’s important to know that, as each visitor enters, they are asked to donate to the Sids and Kids charity.