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Blue Light Special
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My dad was an artist and a good one. His watercolors won awards at juried shows, museums purchased his work and he was even featured in American Artist. Undeniably, he had a fine aesthetic sense. Which is not necessarily what kids are looking for at Christmas.

I'm thinking in particular of the blue lights. One year Dad decided that strings of multicolored holiday lights were a bit garish if not downright tasteless. If lights had to be displayed -- a practice of questionable artistic merit to begin with -- then at least they should be tasteful. Sometimes a limited palette is best. Plain blue for example.

Lights along the edge of the roof, draped over the snow heaped rhododendrons in front of the house and the small hemlock at the end of the driveway cast a blue glow over the snowy yard. Through the blue framed picture window could be seen the blue bedecked tree in the living room. The effect was striking. But not exactly merry. Compared to the other houses along the street decked out in cheerful motley ours appeared sunk in a pit of gloom, depressing as old black and white Ebenezeer Scrooge in the yearly telecast of A Christmas Carol.

So for a few years I had a blue blue Christmas, just like Elvis. He didn't sound pleased about it though and neither was I.

Luckily my Dad's blue period, like Picasso's, didn't last forever. At some point, for some reason (maybe my mother protested) colored lights returned. Although we certainly never had an illuminated Santa or plastic reindeer on the roof, sad to say.

Dad passed away two years ago, just before the holidays. If he were here to do it, I'd be happy to have him put up the blue lights again.

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