My neighborhood begins to light up by the weekend after Thanksgiving. One by one the houses take on a fairy-tale look, some charming, some in dubious taste. By Christmas the area will be lovely. Some years ago an entrepreneur took folks on night-time carriage rides through our streets. In some windows the menorahs will show more and more candles. Ah, the bone-deep ancestral need to light fires as the days become so short! The night deepens and the cold wind blows, but we light the darkness.
When my older son was a toddler, Grandma took him to see the lighting of the Portland State University tree. A newspaper photographer captured his rapt expression. I still feel like this when I see the lovely glowing lights.