Lighting up the Holiday

Wheary's lights

About a week ago, I ranted about the merchants rushing the Christmas Season. I’m sure you regular readers noticed it–it was the kind of Soap Box argument with which you either agreed or disagreed.

Now that’s it’s officially December, let the Christmas festivities begin! To get in the spirit, I even took a walk through a couple Christmas Tree Wonderlands yesterday. As I wandered through the sea of lighted trees,  I must say, it was rather pleasant to let the twinkling lights wash their wonder over me. Of all the holiday decorations, it’s the lights that bring me the most Christmas cheer.

One big deal when I was a little girl, was the night my father would pile the family into the Buick and go on a Christmas light escapade. Several neighborhoods were notorious for putting up Christmas lights, so we’d warm up there with our “ooos” and “ahhhs.”  But the grand finale was always at a house at 6509 Williamsburg Way on the north side of the city.

Mr. George Wheary, a local industrial, delighted the entire city with an extravaganza of 21,000 white lights that he put up in his yard. There were doves and angels “flying” in the large pine trees. The moon and constellations of the stars were there, too, but the centerpiece of the whole display was the 24-by-36 ft waterfall that had 2,000 feet of rope lights, which created the illusion of cascading water. This tasteful, beautiful scene of white lights that lit up the cold winter nights left everyone who viewed it awestruck, and it imprinted memories that have lasted a lifetime.

After Mr. Wheary died, his family donated the lights to the city of Racine. They were displayed at the Racine Zoo for many years, but for me, it was never the same. The anticipation of turning the corner after waiting in a stream of cars to go by Mr. Wheary’s house for a few minutes was gone. And now, the waterfall and other lights have been retired. Last year was the first one since the 1960s that the Wheary lights were dark.

So yesterday, I strung some multi-color  icicle lights along my driveway. I accented the string with lighted candy canes and a couple of little lighted trees. Today, I’ll pull out my lighted reindeer, who swivels his head and the finishing touch will be to hang a wreath on the door.

I know I’ll never come close to Mr. Wheary’s light show, but I’ll enjoy the colors and pay the electric company in January.



One thought on “Lighting up the Holiday

  1. There is someone very similar to Mr Wheary living over my back fence – I’ve never seen anything like the light show he puts on every night! It really makes me feel like it’s Christmas! 😀

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