The Land of Milk and Honey

photo of a house displaying lots of christmas lights

Since some years, I have been corresponding with a relative in Australia by email.

When we started lockdown, it was apparent that things were very different between us. When I talked about lockdown, I was talking about not going out for a month on end, or relying on online grocery deliveries to stay stocked. She meant things like social distancing when she was going for a coffee or a haircut.

And that’s not really surprising. The number of COVID cases here, even in just the few square miles of our village, is comparable with the number of cases in her entire state.

But funny, today, she talked about christmas lights, of all things. She said that the whole of her street was bedecked in lights, that even they had made an effort, and that one guy had really gone to town.

We’re not talking about indoor decorations which you might hang on your tree, or in the windowframe, here. These are heavy-duty, outside lights, that you might drape over your house or garden.

It’s very different to here. I mean, you can buy those lights if you want, you can spend money powering them, but people tend not to. I think people here are generally aware that lights equate to avoidable power consumption, and most of us therefore abstain. Maybe we have “environment” drummed into us here, and that happens less in Australia? Dunno. Never been there, so I can’t really make a comparison.

So, I just wondered – we are all from different necks of the woods on here, so what tends to happen where you live?

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed IT systems in finance, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing mainly health-related software from home, plus some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

27 thoughts on “The Land of Milk and Honey”

  1. Mid-South US, noticable toning-down of outdoor displays. Significantly less than normal in brick-and-mortar establishments. I cannot see Amazon from here so I can;t sya if Amazon HQ is bedecked. Doubt it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. You’re right: the energy consumption to run outdoor lights consumes/wastes a fantastic amount of energy. As far as the environment and climate change goes, it’s always seemed more a political issue, something to fling at world leaders. THEY must do something. Make laws, whatever. That will fix the climate. Big business just smiles and carries on as usual to satisfy the market.

    Seems to me any actual change must begin at a grass roots, consumer consumption level — because money always has the greatest say. When we start looking closely at our own lifestyles and start spending our money accordingly, businesses will respond and the environment will thank us. It’s a whole lot easier, though, to expect the govt to fix our mess.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. There will come a time when all Xmas lights will be frowned upon! This year any one who suggests councils should put no lights up or neighbours should keep their gardens and windows in darkness will be called killjoys as we all need cheering up. Our local shops do look cheery with all the lights up, especially when they glitter in the rain. I have a modest little real tree in a tub with one string of battery lights in the front garden.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ps. I have lots of family in Western Australia and life is normal there, They didn’t even have any normal flu’ during the winter. They just closed their border and did not let anyone into the state!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. My son lives in Melbourne, Victoria. The only state that has been hit badly by Covid. They had a proper lock-down, troops on the street, curfew, closed borders. It seemed to do the trick though, Melbourne has had NO new cases for a while now. Getting back to normal there,

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Almost total lockdown here in my part of Texas. Only time out is for groceries, doctors, and pharmacies. We are both in high risk category (old and decrepit 😁) so we don’t take chances. Our county only had 6 ICU beds out of 72 open last week…not worth being stupid.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. There are various gardens displaying lights, or even balconies with lights, but all in the range of Swiss style being not too flashy. i do not bother. Honestly speaking I will be glad when the whole event is done and gone. However we have a married couple in the village that returned from living in America a few years ago and they brought their Christmas decorations with them. I must say it is certainly something completely different and very enjoyable: a complete illuminated sleigh with reindeer.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can’t see any from where I am but there are bound to be one or two in the village. When daughter left home, it marked the beginning of the end for our own decorations, culminating in this year, we have not put any up.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. A few apartments have a string on their balcony. I haven’t put up anything of Christmas decor this year. My daughter is taking me out to see the homes that are decorated sometime next week.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have seen how Saudi Arabia has changed when it comes to power conservation. Back in the 90s… light posts were like a meter apart and they were all lit all night long…

    Constructions were surrounded by lights to avoid accidents and that was during the time when they were trying to modernize the roads and streets so yeah… lights are everywhere.

    But now, you’d see how the posts were placed several meters apart… and it’s gotten darker in the night… less lights were placed on constructions and less light posts as well.

    Festive lights during EID season were lessened too. I don’t know if that’s to conserve energy or to cost cut. Either way, that is a good move because it was really excessive.

    As for the Philippines, the rich would do that kind of wastage. But the poor would barely have any decorations…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. There are some companies trying to introduce it here. As far as I know, our company is being wooed to invest in one…. I have seen their corporate profile & it looks promising. Although it’s really hard to shake the Kingdom’s dependence on oil because it’s been their bread and butter ever since.

        Saudi Arabia has started entertaining sustainable living I guess since 2 yrs back… It’s amazing!

        Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s astonishing how well Australia and New Zealand have handled the virus. I am glad for them.
    I find the amount of wastage at the time of year baffling – wasting money on things that people don’t want, wasting money on over eating and over drinking, wasting money on OTT displays. It is strange.
    But right now, as my job is just more and more intense as the weeks go by, it is the scenes of huge throngs of shoppers close together that is worrying me. Whenever we see that, we wonder what the cases, admissions and deaths graphs will be like in two weeks time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In absolute terms, doing anything social this year seems to be a bad idea, but somebody somewhere has obviously decided that the risk is worth taking, that services will cope. But when we had 519 deaths yesterday, from a period when we were meant to be locked down, I’m happy to abstain.

      Like

  10. some houses here where I live have outside lights, a few, but most of them just have a few in the windows, candles, Christmas candles, or little fairy lights a string of them in the window. I am in Ireland, decorating is big here, but it is mostly inside decorations.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I simply love lights… it just conjures up feelings of festive cheer. About a decade or two ago there was a suburb in Cape Town that became quite popular because the residents decked their houses out with lights, but that tradition seems to have died. Mostly in our part of the world the druggies will steal the Christmas lights off your house – so I personally wouldn’t even bother. Time are tough here and there’s lots of unemployment and all the socio-economic challenges that come with that…. I still love Christmas lights but I also think it’s a waste of money

    Liked by 2 people

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