Lights in a Dark Season

The winter holidays start with lights in the U.S. and in many countries around the world. In the U.S. the lights begin to appear in early November, shining on street corners, in department store windows. By the end of November and the U.S. Thanksgiving, holiday lights are up and twinkling in white, blue, red, green, and gold on city streets and on country roads. By early December the lights are entwined on the trees and strung around front porches and lawns, and in shop windows, challenging the onslaught of winter’s darkness and the somber journey to the shadowed side of the sun.

The tradition of lights on Christmas trees started in 17th century Germany where they were attached by wax or pins. Then along came Thomas Edison and the electric light. By the late 19th century—in 1882—Edison’s friend and partner Edward H. Johnson developed the first string of electric lights for a Christmas tree by hand-wiring 80 red, white, and blue light bulbs together and winding them around his tree.

Many holidays around the world celebrate with lights, especially in the winter months, not only Christmas, also Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, St. Lucia Day, the Winter Solstice.

At a time when war is taking away the option of lighted cities, let alone festive lights for many in the Ukraine and elsewhere, I wanted to share these virtual lights with a wish for illumination in the year ahead.

Photo credits: Joanne Leedom-Ackerman


  1. Malcolm on December 16, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Thanks Joanne, for bringing light to our lives.

    Wishing you all the blessings of Christmas

    • Joanne on December 16, 2022 at 10:50 pm

      Thank you, Malcolm. Happy holidays and inspired new year ahead.🥗

  2. Robert Gussin on December 16, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    Beautiful photo collection. Thank you.

    Bob Gussin

  3. Joanne on December 16, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    Thank you! Best wishes for a joy-filled holiday and new year 🌺

  4. Iman Humaydan on December 17, 2022 at 3:03 am

    Thank you Joanne. Wishing you always light , health and creativity

    • JoanneLA on December 18, 2022 at 9:17 am

      Happy holidays to you, Iman and hope our paths cross in the new year🥗

  5. Marilyn Hamlin Palasky on December 18, 2022 at 3:09 am

    Joanne, you always take me somewhere I am somewhat surprised to go…love the simple lights on the house and in the upstairs window. Feel like I should know the grand arcade, but I don’t. Where? Joy this Holiday to you and yours. Marilyn Hamlin Palasky

  6. JoanneLA on December 18, 2022 at 9:20 am

    Warm wishes to you and yours this holiday season. The photos are from various venues including New York, Chicago O’Hare airport and the Wastern Shore of MD. Hope lights are shining where you are.🎄

  7. Chiara on December 19, 2022 at 3:36 am

    Dear Joanne , you are always on the spot, observing with gentle and sensitive eyes and sharing your thoughts…thanks! Whisking all the best for you

  8. JoanneLA on December 19, 2022 at 8:06 am

    Thank you, Chiara. Happy holidays and an inspiring new year for you and your family with lots of good books📚🥗

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