Category Archives: Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

Posted on September 21, 2010 by

Imagine that you are standing in front of a lit candle, the atmosphere would be tranquil and still and you would most probably be feeling calm within. Now imagine that you are standing in front of a million different coloured and flashing lights adorning a home or office building. How would you feel now? I’m sure that your whole being would tend to light up inside as well and I bet that you would have a look of amazement or at least have a huge smile on your face.

Using lights to decorate Christmas trees, homes and buildings has been around for eons and can be dated back to pre-Christianity times. In 1483AD Germany started the tradition of illuminating Christmas trees with candles. During Queen Victoria’s reign this tradition was adopted by the United Kingdom and thereafter spread to North America and Australia. During these times the trees were adorned with candles and sugar ornaments and presents were placed underneath the trees (a tradition enjoyed by most to this day).

Fibre Optic Fake Xmas Trees are becoming a hit as they are convenient, hassle free and cheap to run!
Fibre Optic Fake Xmas Trees are becoming a hit as they are convenient, hassle free and cheap to run!

In 1882 the first electrically powered lights were used and were called fairy lights. At the same time Edward H. Johnson created the first electrically illuminated Christmas tree by using hand-wired and custom made light bulbs. Forty eight years later the Xmas lights finally started to replace candles as the decoration of choice as its popularity grew and it became more affordable for the general public to purchase and use.

This lead to an explosion of lighting competitions between businesses (who could afford the cost of using hundreds of lights to decorate their office buildings) and by the mid 1950’s the Christmas light fever started engulfing households and the now-popular light display competitions began in earnest.

With the advancement in technology came various types of Christmas lights. The change from incandescent light bulbs to light-emitting diodes (LED) proved very popular as they are more energy efficient. Taking one step further and these now have a solar powered option which help to reduce carbon emissions and are ecofriendly. Fibre optic lights offer a new take on the fairy lights allowing for transcendent illumination when decorating the Xmas tree or brightening up the home both indoors and outdoors.

christmas-0299
Christmas LED Lights, cheap to buy, cheap to run BUT effective

All of these lights have been used to decorate buildings but they started off being used on metal wired frames to create light sculptures. One of my fondest memories when I was younger was when my Grandparents would drive around the city at Christmas time and they allowed me to stick my head outside the window so that I could marvel at the sculptures adorning the lampposts and traffic lights. These days the sculptures have become really “fancy”, they sport 3D designs of angels, snowmen, reindeers and Santa’s with motorised parts moving “body-sized” limbs to the jingle of Christmas music.

I look forward to the days when technology can go a step further and the lights will be able to change into any object that our hearts desire with just the touch of a button.

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Buying Christmas Lights Online

Posted on September 21, 2010 by

So many lights to choose from and so little time left to deck the halls in a more stylish way than last year’s efforts. What a disaster! It all started out with a handful of fairy lights subtly placed around the living room and ended up looking more like millions of glo-worms lining the walls but without the cute factor. Don’t even ask me about my electricity bill as I’m still trying to pay it off. No, this year will be different – I’m on a mission to create a Christmas glow around the home without causing eye damage due to high voltage glare.

What seems like such a simple task, purchasing indoor Christmas lights, is made so impossibly stressful on account of the vast number of styles available, the better than ever sales on the high street and the immeasurable number of websites offering great deals on the latest lines of fashionable designs. Nevertheless, this will not get the better of me; I will proceed with confidence whether it is for a box of fairy lights or the biggest fibre optic tree in the store.

Some friends of mine actually admit to enjoying the process of walking for hours around crowd-infested shops in a bid to find the best, brightest and cheapest lights for their homes. They search through messy shelves that are teaming with opened boxes and scattered random items that have so obviously been abandoned by some other customer who decided they weren’t getting the deal they were hoping for. What’s worse, they often have their children with them when they do this who have an innate skill for knocking things off such messy shelves. Not my idea of a fun shopping experience. This is why I do the majority of my Christmas purchasing online.

There are some fantastic websites now that are completely dedicated to Christmas items, with pages specifically for lights alone and often with guidelines on what’s new and how to get the most stylish look for less money than other sites of similar content. The easy to read sites are designed to assist people like me who have difficulty choosing from all available styles. They explain what each kind of lighting system is best used depending on your styling needs: with LED, solar, outdoor/indoor lights, fairy lights, fibre optics all separated, I can make a more informed and less impulsive decision for the first time in my “Christmas-light-buying” life.

So long as I plan ahead and give myself plenty of time to search these websites effectively, cuppa in hand of course, I’m sure to find the whole process much more satisfying than braving the inevitable queues at the shops. I’m too easily dazzled by packaging in the shops and would come out with so many “bargains” that, as usual, half of them would end up staying in their boxes as I contemplate my foolishness when it comes to bright sparkly things with a price mark down. Yes, it’s safer for a woman like me to shop online for lights.

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Christmas in July

Posted on July 28, 2010 by

Many countries such as Australia experience  hot weather on December 25 and July is their coldest month. In recent times in Australia the custom of celebrating “Christmas in July” has been adopted and is gaining momentum.  July offers an opportunity to capture the atmosphere of a traditional cold weather Christmas with logged fires, a hot roast and hot plum pudding.  For many people who yearn to experience a traditional Christmas feast, “Christmas in July” is the only way they can experience it, without having to spend lots of money to travel to another country in the northern hemisphere.  Not many people want to leave family and friends behind in December for the experience of a “white Christmas” so “Christmas in July” is the perfect alternative!

The earliest known occasion to make the phrase Christmas in July literal was in July 1933 at Camp Keystone, a girl’s summer camp in North Carolina, which celebrated with a Christmas tree, gifts, and a visit by Santa Clause.  The concept of Christmas in July was given a significant boost in 1940 with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy “Christmas in July”.  It is the story of a man fooled into believing he had won $25,000 in a slogan contest.  He buys presents for family, friends and neighbours, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend.

The precise beginning of the “Christmas in July” tradition in Australia is not totally clear.  Although it is sometimes attributed to an Irish group who enjoyed the winter snow in Sydney’s Blue Mountains, and decided to party.  The “Christmas in July” tradition is now so well entrenched in Australia that most restaurants and clubs  have an official advertised annual catered menu for Christmas in July, and are often booked in advance.  It’s always a great excuse for work teams to get together and party, and at a time when they don’t have to battle to reserve a table and pay premium prices.

It is the Australian snowfields however, where Christmas in July traditions really come into their own.  July being the peak season for the snowfields they all have special events connected with their Christmas in July celebrations.  Of course all of the young revelers love to build a snowman when they are in the snowfields, Santa skiing on the slopes is quite a treat and, since everyone that is there is on holidays, the nights are full of dining and cheer and merriment, so it is a perfect scene for Christmas in July celebrations.  Many families make the brief excursion to the Australian snowfields just for the Christmas in July celebrations.

“Christmas in July” is a wonderful time for people to be reminded of the virtues associated with Christmas:   giving, forgiveness, love and gratitude.  Reflection mid-year offers a healing opportunity for people to start the process of transforming from the inside out by reviving and rekindling the spirit that belongs to Christmas!

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Christmasallyear.com.au is an on-line shop that aims to be a category killer on both price and quality.

Westminster Christmas also has a retail store at Shop 1, 610 Canterbury Road, Vermont, Victoria, 3133. This store is open July to December and may be contacted on (03) 9872 6455.

The head office and warehouse of Westminster Christmas Pty. Ltd. is located at Factory 6, Brock Industrial Drive, 1 Melba Avenue, Lilydale, Vic, 3140

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