holiday lights

11.26.20 ~ Holiday Lights Spectacular
Olde Mistick Village, Mystic, Connecticut

This pandemic Thanksgiving felt so strange with just the two of us, to say the least. We had takeout turkey, worked on a jigsaw puzzle, listened to music, communicated with faraway relatives, and when it got dark and stopped raining, went to see some holiday lights at a large outdoor shopping village.

It was very pretty, although I don’t think they had all their lights up yet. There were a few families there with small children. Everyone was wearing masks and stayed quite far apart. (I’ve started wearing two masks when I go outside these days. I still won’t go inside of a building.)

After we were there a while they started playing music which was very festive but it seemed so bizarre to have to exchange muffled Happy Thanksgiving greetings from behind our masks and from a distance.

I wonder what the holiday shopping season will be like. We’ll be ordering a couple of gifts for our grandchildren from local businesses in their area so our daughter can pick them up curbside and wrap them for us.

It will be interesting to see on the news what happens for Black Friday… (Something I frown upon and have never participated in…) I hope common sense will prevail somehow.

Irish Eyes, one of our favorite stores
Bestemors, my favorite store
nisse in the store window
lights in the upstairs window
troll in another window
lights dangling from large tree

Heading out for a walk in the woods today. We decided we do want a solstice tree this year, but will wait until the middle of next week to visit the local tree farm, so as to avoid the weekend crowd. We are determined to make the best of things!

27 thoughts on “holiday lights”

  1. Just the two of us for Thanksgiving also. Was a blessed day. These Christmas lights are beautiful, but it does overlap with Thanksgiving and that is weird. Saw on the news early this morning – people camping outside stores in sleeping bags and tents – shoulder to shoulder. Bad idea for sure. I have not gone out for Black Friday for the last 30 years. Such a mess.

    1. People camping outside stores shoulder to shoulder in sleeping bags and tents sounds like a recipe for disaster. I find the whole idea of Black Friday repulsive, even though some members of my extended family are big fans of it. My aunts used to complain about the uncles watching football on Thanksgiving -lol- little did they know that in the future the dinner would be cut short by half the family rushing off to go stand in a line. Sigh…

      1. They should do away with black Friday. It turns people into animals – the fighting over items and running over the top of people. Terrible and it is suppose to be the season of love and giving.

  2. Barbara, the holiday lights are just beautiful! When my little grandson visited tonight, he asked me when I wil be putting up my Christmas tree. I think he is old enough at four to remember how I go over the top with Christmas decorations, and this year will be no exception. Our local towns don’t decorate the street in such a festive way as yours does, so it is lovely to see your local decorations. It sounds like you had a lovely, but quiet, Thanksgiving with Tim, and hopefully by next year you can both share the day with your family. xx

    1. Thank you, Joanne — the lights did cheer us up a bit. Decorating for the holidays is my favorite part. Although in recent years I have toned it down a bit and donated some of my less favorite decor items. This year I think I will just concentrate on the tree since we won’t be having any company. I will miss collaborating and scheming with my sister, too. Tim will just have to step up and offer his opinions and ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so wonderful that your grandson remembers now and can anticipate a magical Christmas with his grandparents. ๐Ÿ’™

  3. Similar experience. Yes, “the pandemic Thanksgiving felt a little strange.” Perfect wording. We had my wife’s father (age 91) for takeout dinner – which was very good. Picked it up Tuesday, then heated everything yesterday. But had homemade dessert – apple bourbon bacon pie. Had a long conversation with relatives where we normally go – but most of the time was watching our niece’s two-year old. Love the lights and the Scandinavian store.

    1. Well, Frank, I’m trying to imagine an apple bourbon bacon pie now! I’m glad you enjoyed the lights and I have to say, that Scandinavian store is a rare and amazing place for everything from imported foods and greeting cards, to linens, clogs, rosemaling plates and boxes, books, trolls, kitchen and dining ware, ornaments, ball candles and candleholders, etc. I’m sure I’m one of their most loyal customers. ๐Ÿ™‚ When my sister-in-law comes to visit from NC it’s the first place she wants to go.

      1. The store sounds wonderful. The pie was a pleasant surprise. It was packed with apples, and not much goo. … the bourbon adds another layer of flavor … and the bacon? Well, it’s sprinkled into the upper crunch layer. It gives the pie a salt & sweet combination. I really like it a lot … but my wife less so. ๐Ÿ™

        1. Sounds pretty good but since I can no longer eat apples I will have to leave the taste to my imagination. Sigh… People can be quirky about pie preferences. My mother used to have to make my father a separate apple pie because he couldn’t stand having cinnamon in it. But he loved cinnamon donuts. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. A bit of a surreal Thanksgiving, that’s for sure. And the photographs seem to have caught a moment in time; an apocalyptic ghost town still bathed in the light of a forgotten festival.

    Christmas has always been my favorite holiday because it unites us and provides hope, for peace on earth and in the possibility of life hereafter. A great gathering in paradise.

    And while I don’t shun the commercial aspects of the holiday, I try to remain mindful of the true gift. It’s not easy to do given the insidious creep of secularism.

    On a happier note, I could probably spend some serious time in Irish Eyes! Slรกinte.

    1. I like your description of “an apocalyptic ghost town still bathed in the light of a forgotten festival.” When we first got there we didn’t see another soul and it was weirdly desolate. Even after we started seeing people it wasn’t hard to get a picture without anyone in it. I remember when we first went for a walk in the empty woods back in March and the word apocalypse came into my mind. And then finally we heard a mom and her children approaching and chattering away and it was such a relief to find someone else on the planet…

      Years ago we got Tim an authentic Irish tweed cap from the Irish Eyes store. They had his size and preferred blue color and he still wears it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      To your health, James! Slรกinte.

      1. Thank you Barbara. I’m glad my apocalyptic comment didn’t offend you, haha. The photos are beautiful but I didn’t see a soul.

        My brother and I had been talking about solar flares, coronal mass ejection (CME), and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) events. So I was imagining dystopian hamlets that had been sent back to the stone age due to extreme reliance on technology and, specifically, electricity.

        It makes for an interesting exercise to consider what items in your possession are vulnerable to such a cataclysm. Additionally, it’s interesting to consider what facets of society might be handicapped by such an event. It’s probably easier to speculate what areas would not be impacted. And for those snickering about the probabilities of an occurrence, a reputable physicist estimated a 12% chance for a Carrington level or greater event from 2012-2022.

        I totally understand about Tim’s new tweed cap because I’m a sucker for anything Irish. We traveled to Ireland a number of times and the people were so welcoming that we found it hard to return to the states. My mother is, as best I have been able to glean, one hundred percent Irish so I love tchotchkes from the Emerald Isle. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. I actually do think about how helpless most of us and society itself would be without electricity. It makes me nervous sometimes to think I don’t even have a plot of land to grow my own food. Think of the unrest when everyone leaves the cities, looking for food. It’s just a nightmare…

          We went to Ireland once in the winter when our daughter and her family were living in Cork for a year. We took a weekend trip to the Dingle Peninsula and stayed at a bed and breakfast, so we had a good dose of the welcoming Irish people. And everything was so green, even in February! (According to Ancestry DNA Tim is 13% Irish. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  5. Making the best of things seems most prudent right now, Barbara. Our Thanksgiving was small, too, and I had to connect with my sis virtually. Sad to miss out on so much, but we have to get creative! Love these Christmas lights … and you’d have to drag me kicking and screaming out of the Irish gift store!!

    1. So true, Debbie. We’re at war with a virus and I’m looking at these virtual celebrations as part of our contribution to the war effort. I spent a long time on the phone with my sister, too. What a difference from last year! I hope these businesses survive. I know some of them offer curbside pickup for those of us too nervous to go inside. You would definitely love Irish Eyes!

  6. OK, I like the troll best! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for getting us in the Christmas spirit a little bit now that Thanksgiving has passed. Hope you enjoyed your walk today, and hope to see pics of your solstice tree soon.

    1. She is an unusually attractive troll, isn’t she? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m happy to share the cheerful lights — not my usual subject matter — lol. We had a wonderful walk and the next post will be more of my usual fare, leaves and stones and such. Might not be getting a tree until Wednesday as Monday and Tuesday are promising to be stormy, which is good because we still need the rain.

  7. I enjoyed the lights and like Kathy, I really like the troll. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was just the two of us here, too. Quiet and actually kind of nice. We will be putting up a solstice tree, too.

    1. I was surprised how drawn I was to the lovely troll, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was kind of nice not having to cook or clean up and the takeout turkey was very good. Working on the puzzle with Tim was lots of fun, too. More time to reflect on our blessings. Happy to hear you’re putting up a solstice tree, too. I enjoy decorating one so much it will be worth the effort, even for just the two of us.

  8. The Scandinavian store looked interesting and I liked the Santa and the troll. In one of the local counties, the County Executive was pleading with people to buy locally or some small merchants will not be in business for Small Business Saturday 2021. He also encouraged people to only touch items they wanted to buy. A little disconcerting hearing that last comment. I went to one Black Friday at the mall to try it out and that was in the early 80s and never again – a throng of people in a shopping mall that was three stories high with glass elevators. We looked like sardines – it was an experience I could/can do without! It was my turn to learn something as I’ve never heard of a solstice tree – what a nice tradition! Here in Michigan, there was an ad that Home Depot would deliver a fresh tree to your home. That has to be a first!

    1. We’re doing our best to buy from local small businesses, puzzles from the independent toy store, paint from the local Sherwin Williams store, etc. Tim is even getting to know the small businesses down in North Carolina where our daughter lives. He’s been ordering gifts for the grandchildren (their birthdays were in September and November) at the independent bookstore and a unique little toy shop down there. The store wraps them for us and our daughter can pick them up curbside. I hope we’re doing our part! We’ll be getting our tree at the local tree farm. I’m looking forward to taking a long walk through the trees. They have 11 different kinds of trees, unlike the hybrids sold at most places which all look identical. Hmmm – maybe I’ll try to get pictures of the different kinds and make a post about it… Our favorite is Fraser Fir.

      1. That is great that you are doing that Barbara. I don’t buy for anyone but I would do that as well. That is nice about the tree farm – I have never been to one. I worked with a girl who came from a big family and they had a family outing in early December to a tree farm and they continued the tradition with their families. They made a day of it, packed a lunch, hot cocoa and coffee, etc. They did that for years and it sounded fun to me. I just Googled Fraser Fir – I like that tree rather than the ones with the long pine needles. You definitely should make a post about it – I will look forward to seeing it.

        1. Going to a tree farm the day after Thanksgiving is a big tradition around here. It is lots of fun! We used to make a day of it, too — brunch at our favorite little restaurant, followed by a long walk through the farm debating on the perfect tree, always thinking there would be a better one a little farther along. ๐Ÿ™‚ The smell of wood burning stoves filling the air… The excitement of seeing and counting the other cars with trees tied on top on the way home… Now we wait a few days to avoid the throngs. I will do my best to get some pictures for you!

          1. I would like to do that one day Barbara, even if I don’t get a tree – I think it would be fun. There used to be a cute Hallmark tree ornament of a tree on top of a VW Beetle. I remember seeing it over the years. My mom and I always went to the ornament preview event for our miniature tree. The whole experience sounds fun. I know they do that at the Howell Nature Center, but that’s nowhere near me. I hope you get your tree and some pictures as well!

          2. We used to have a Hallmark store across the river in a strip mall which we rarely had a chance to visit. It’s gone now, but I hear there is one inside the indoor mall, where I never go. I didn’t know they had ornament preview events. Our local CVS has a few of their ornaments for sale but it would be nice to see the whole array of them! We do have a few of their ornaments we managed to collect over the years, until I started going to Pier One all the time. Now that store is gone, too.

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