When I was growing up, my step-mother always went a little overboard buying holiday decorations. The day after whatever holiday occurred, you’d find my stepmom digging through the clearance rubble looking for a good deal. As the years passed, tubs upon tubs eventually filled their home and the Christmas tree was left up year around. It was decorated for all the different holidays. So, yea, they had a Fourth of July tree and Valentine’s Day tree and so forth. Thankfully, I was an adult and not living there by that time. I should also mention this was the second Christmas tree they bought, because the first one was buried in a room that was stacked six feet high with decorations and random junk she had purchased.
When I was a teenager, I was put in charge of putting up all these ridiculous decorations. There was so much junk, not to mention one of those horrible early fake Christmas trees. The ones with the colored metal ends that you had to match up to the different level of the tree. Of course, after the first year, the colors wore off so it was a guessing game that took hours! I grew so frustrated with decorating at the holidays that once I moved out, I didn’t decorate for over five years. She had burned me out so bad with the absurdity of all the decorating that she did.
Sadly, I associate negativity with all those Christmas decorations, so there isn’t much I think back on fondly. I don’t miss the chorus of cracking as a dozen animatronic Santas/angels/Ms. Claus and worth wave their electronic candle back and forth. I don’t miss the gaudy wreaths or wall coverings. Nor do I miss the Christmas plates or Kenny G album. But there is one thing… one small thing that does take me back fondly to that time. Musical Christmas lights.
One year, we were out shopping for decorations when my brother and I ran across a box of musical lights. It sounded like next generation decorations and we really wanted to check it out. Luckily, this was the same year my step-mom purchased a tree stand that would allow for the tree to spin 360 degrees. So, when we presented her with the idea of lights that would play music, she threw them in the cart and we rejoiced.
When we got home, we hooked up the lights and sat next to the Christmas tree as a small speaker emitted MIDI forms of Christmas songs. It was magical and wonderful at the time.
The songs repeated after so often and the electronic sounds could get a bit grating, but for the next five or so years, my brother and I looked forward to the lights playing us Christmas music. I don’t remember if we just stopped turning the music on after that or if we replaced the lights, but the yearly Christmas moment died after just a few years.
Recently, I remembered the sounds of these musical Christmas lights. I went to YouTube in search of anyone who may have a a video and I was surprised to find someone who recorded the actual lights in action and then someone who set a slideshow to the entire soundtrack of these lights.
I don’t have many fond Christmas memories at the house I grew up in, but these lights bring back a little bit of the Christmas magic from my childhood.