I was thinking of antique Christmas lights. When we were kids there were two kinds of lights being strung on outdoor trees. The older version were large round bulbs which made for a pretty nifty bright light.
You don't see them anymore. For one thing I think they were wired in series which meant if one bulb burned out the entire string went out. And to replace it, one would have to test one bulb at a time from one end of the string to the other, until the bad bulb was found. (Often those outdoor trees would be dark, without light, because someone had stolen a couple bulbs...whether it was vandals or some thief needing to replace their own burned out bulbs...who knows.)
Then came a generation of outdoor lighting that solved that problem of burnt out bulbs. Strings were wired in parallel...if one bulb went out, no problem. The rest of the string would continue to burn. And after a dark blip in the early 1970s due to energy conservation, December lights have enjoyed a resurge.
An article in the paper today (click here) mentions the new LED lights which are nicely energy efficient and how today's outdoor decorating enthusiasts are not yet enthused about them, citing not only the different "color" and "light" but also the nostalgia involved with using the old sets.
You can read up on old lights at the Antique Christmas Light Museum (click on the name). Browse around the site...you will enjoy the visit.
But I think the oldest "Christmas" light I remember from childhood was the one I watched outside my bedroom window. From my pillow I could see the night sky and it seemed at Christmas there was always a very bright star that shone in through the bedroom window. I knew it wasn't the Star of the East, that same star that led the Magi to the Christ child. But I liked to imagine so. And so as I climbed into bed each December night (and shivered till the bed warmed), I would look out at that star (it was probably a planet) and think of Bethlehem and Jesus and forgiveness and God and God's love and wonder what it must have been like to be in Bethlehem so long ago.
In John 8:12 Jesus said, " "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
The entire world walks in darkness and death...Unless! Unless God causes us to be born again to new life (John 3:3) and brings us into light and life. Light denotes truth, fully revealed, nothing hidden. If we walk in darkness, we are at mercy of the darkness and death. If we walk in light, we see! And we have Life!
In Colossians 1:13-17 Paul reminds us that Christ has rescued us from darkness. The verse reads this way..."
For He (God the Father) rescued us from the domain of darkness (from the kingdom of Satan), and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him (by Jesus) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him (through Jesus and for Jesus). He (Jesus) is before all things, and in Him (in Jesus) all things hold together.
The most "antique" light of Christmas was that star over Bethlehem. (Matthew 2:2 and Matthew 2:9-10). To my way of thinking, it still outshines any incandescent or LED light on the market.
P.S. No, we don't live in the house at the top of this page. It was for sale when we moved back to town but it was too small (smaller than it appears) and needed more work than we were willing to do. But isn't it lovely on a snowy winter day?