Advent#34

The end of Yule and the end of theoldmortuary Advent. Starting on the first day of a chocolate advent calendar and ending on the last day of Pagan Yule. Fittingly, as with much of the festive season, today’s blog is about something Pagan that is enmeshed in the secular and sacred traditions of a Christian Christmas. Christmas is for everyone… Lights are not just for Christmas…

Christmas Lights

The custom was borrowed from Pagan Yule rituals that celebrate the slow returning of light and lengthening days after the Winter Solstice.

©Kate DuPlessis

For Christians, lights symbolise the birth of Christ, the bringer of light to the World.

William Holman Hunt

©William Holman Hunt.org

Light was created for Pagans with the burning of the Yule Log, early tapers and braziers.

Early Christians had much the same. Candles,gas lights and then electricity. In the mid twentieth century, it became popular not only to decorate the tree with lights but also to decorate homes and commercial buildings with strings of lights. Cities have year round light shows that are only marginally ramped up for the festive season

©theoldmortuary Hong Kong

More recently, landscapes and country parks have realised the commercial value of having Festive Season illuminations.

Ginter Garden lights. ©Bob Kovacs


In many countries festive lights go up at the beginning of Advent and come down at Twefth Night or Candlemas.

But there is a new thinking out there…Psychologists suggest that putting Christmas decorations and lights up early makes people happier and the happiness spreads to friends and neighbours.
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/people-put-christmas-decorations-up-early-happier-feelings-stress-anxiety-december-experts-study-a8065561.html

It doesn’t stop there, keeping them up beyond Twelfth Night is also a good thing.

https://www.inspiralist.com/home-garden/when-take-christmas-lights-down/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=sharelink

Shared from Inspiralist – https://www.inspiralist.com

theoldmortuary adopted year round Festive lights long ago. Although we are often quite late to decorate for the festive season.

Both of us have a background of medical imaging. In the pre-digital age that required a lot of time in an actual dark room but even in the digital age it requires working life in a darkened room. Domestically our interior design is inclined towards the dark side. A little bit of twinkle is good for us.

The Cornish Range is somewhat aged and thankfully we don’t rely on it to feed us or heat the house. A little bit of Festive illumination gives it the look of fabulous domestic productivity.

So from the glowing heart of theoldmortuary, it’s farewell to Advent until December 1st 2020.

Tomorrow is another day.

Advent#33

De-rig day. The cables of Christmas. The trees are down and currently the fairy lights are orderly, boxed away ready for next year.

December 2020, in theory, will see them brought out of their boxes ready to be unwound onto the trees of the next decade effortlessly. In my dreams. In truth inside their boxes squirming will occur, serpiginous and tricksy they will weave knots of such complexity that several hours of sorting out will be required. There will be swearing.

Baubles on the other hand are well behaved. Boxed up and away in the cupboard nothing changes over the next eleven months.

Meanwhile the dogs adopted their favourite pose of disinterest. Chasing baubles is exhilarating but the hoovering of the resulting damage is dull, better to sleep and pretend nothing happened.