Small Things that Brighten Life. Literally.

It is my favorite time of the year, and many things around me bring me joy. Recently we visited a local street that is known for its Christmas decorations. It’s funny that I lived close to it for more than a decade but have never heard about it until two co-workers from my previous job with whom I met to exchange holiday presents told me about it. We’ve worked together and been friends for years but until this year it just had never come up in our numerous holidays-related conversations.

Over years I saw many decorated houses in the area but I’ve never seen so many lights on private houses on one street before. I loved it! In the neighborhood where I live there are just 5 houses with some kind of outside decorations (including our house, even though Christmas isn’t our holiday). And now we’re thinking about getting more of holiday decorations for our house for the next year: not even close to the extremes we saw on that street but we hope that maybe our festivity will be contagious, and more neighbors decide to follow the suit.

Pictures do not properly reflect the atmosphere of the street but I want to share them with you anyway.

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This Saturday we’ll celebrate the Christmas Eve (it’s not our holiday, but we live here – so why not to celebrate it?), the first day of Hanukkah (it’s not entirely our holiday but every year for this holiday I lit candles on that not the most conventional menorah on the picture below that I bought as a gift from my grandmother Rosa – it will be the first year without telling her about that) and Rusty’s Birthday (we don’t know his exact birthday, but when we got him, we decided that he would be our Christmas cat; he is turning 8 this year, and he doesn’t discriminate any of the holidays either: he equally battles Christmas ornaments on the tree and Hanukkah candles on menorah). I’m going to wear my all-time favorite perfume Climat by Lancôme to make the day even more special.

I invite you to virtually join me in any or all of these celebrations regardless of where you live or what your religion beliefs are. Enjoy this day if you are happy now, or find something to brighten it even if you’re not currently in the best place in your life.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Rusty’s Birthday to all of you, my friends and readers!

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!


36 thoughts on “Small Things that Brighten Life. Literally.

  1. Happy Holidays! Christmas as celebrated by my family is almost entirely a pagan holiday, although I do enjoy some of the more religious music. Lights, trees (my mother decorates hers all in purple, her favorite color), gifts, food. What more could we want during the darkest days of the year?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Laurel.
      For many years I did color-themed tree decorations. But then we got Rusty and for a while we couldn’t do any tree in the room accessible to him at all, then we started putting up small ones with just unbreakable ornaments, which I wasn’t inclined to color coordinate. This year is the first one when I did it again: I went for blue, white and silver.


    • Thank you, Lucas! Merry Christmas to you!
      I’m on a vacation until the next year so I should do some blogging and catch up on my blog reading. But yes, I miss those times when we all were less busy.


  2. I love Christmas lights! They make me feel so happy, like a kid! those pictured are pretty amazing! Rusty looks intrigued with it all! This is a different Christmas for us as we’re staying in Singapore. No decorations, and I have a silly amount back in the States. But family is here visiting and all is well. Many joys of the season to you, Undina, and I appreciate you reaching out to me this year when i started blogging. Very kind!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, it’s not particularly “winter-y” here in North California either :) but it doesn’t prevent us from feeling the spirit – and yes, lights and decorated trees help.

      I’ll see you next year – both on my blog and yours. Happy holidays, Cynthia!


    • Winter holidays were the best for me as a child, so I appreciate any chance to get a glimpse of that happy feeling from those times, and all the decorations and lights are perfect props for that.
      All the best to you and yours, Steve!


  3. Thank for sharing those lights. Our street is pretty half-a**ed about decorating but there is a short cul-de-sac down the way who all decorate together and it looks amazing. I’m in love with those Hello Kitty santas. My husband has pointed out that we have NO room to store one, but I don’t care. On the wish list it goes!
    It’s gonna be too warm for my usual holiday perfumes so I’ll probably end up in Cuir de Russie or Azemour this weekend unless I’m hit by a sudden inspiration.
    Merry Christmas to you and happy birthday to the handsome Rusty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, mikasminion! Same to you and your family.

      Not that I’m looking for an enabler pin, but I have a suspicion that those Hello Kitties are inflatable/collapsible, so they won’t take up that much space… ;)


  4. Christmas lights are my very favorite part of the holiday, Undina. I don’t have a Christmas tree inside our house because I prefer having one outside, where it can be part of our neighborhood’s display of lights, so there is a fully-decorated tree in front of our picture window, with lots of snowflake, icicle and bird ornaments on it, flanked by a grazing female deer on one side of it and a male deer with beautiful antlers on the other. I feel like leaving it up all winter!

    Thank you for sharing your stroll through this fabulously festive neighborhood near your house. It’s wonderful. Merry Christmas to you, your vSO, and Rusty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, islandjavaguy. And Happy Holidays to you too!

      You misread Rusty’s intentions: that paw means “one done (see that candle on the picture? ;) ), five to go!”


  5. Merry Hannukah and Happy Christmas (yes, I just need to be different and I am trying not to do the Happy Holidays thing). I am living vicariously through you with the Christmas decoration scenes! The only time I’ve seen them this spectacular is on one of the HGTV countdown to the best decorated residence. You took really great pictures and the real thing must have been eye-popping. Rusty looks like he is ready to swat the twinkling lights on the tree!

    This is my holiday decoration:

    Now to the ever important what perfume am I wearing for Christmas Eve, I think it will be By Kilian Single Malt but that is subject to change. There is a long car ride involved with scent-phobe family members.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Merry Holidays to you! Have an uneventful car ride (if anything, you should pretend you had an early start with a single malt… though, I’m not sure if that would play better with a family member) ;)

      I’m not trying to be politically correct but rather “all-inclusive” :)

      Nice decoration! Do you use it inside or outside?


  6. Those Christmas illuminations are very impressive! I didn’t know American houses went in for such things. In my street there are very few who participate but in my old street every house but ours was ablaze, with reindeer on the lawns and Santas on the roof etc. We just had a tree in the window inside the house, and now since I left, not even that as ex-Mr Bonkers is extremely Bah Humbug! Topping even that is a village called Haughton, just up from my elderly friend. Here, certain houses are decorated to a completely over the top extent. People drive from miles around to see the displays – goodness knows what their electricity bills are, hehe. (It’s No 3 in this link…)

    Happy festivities to you and Rusty – I hope he has lots of treats on his designated birthday!


    • Impressive! While I wouldn’t want to have anything exactly like that in the neighborhood, I would love more people to do at least some decorations – it helps to keep the holiday spirit, I think.

      If I had a window facing a street, I would have probably gone for a tree in window: I really like how it looks.

      Merry Christmas to you and Truffle (did she get any gifts under the tree?).


  7. Pingback: Small (?) Things that Brighten (?) Life – Undina's Looking Glass

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