Dreaming of a white light Christmas?

It’s dark. It’s gloomy. And I want to eat all the carbs. So I’m appreciating the holiday lights more than usual. The question is: What color should holiday lights be?

There is a true divide on opinion. Mult-colored advocates say they are festive, riotous, and retro. Those who like white lights, which became vogue in the 80s, say they are classy, look like ice and snow,  and give off more pleasing light.  In any case, seventy percent of string lights sold are white. 

The white look is reminiscent of candles used in days gone by, so it, too, is retro. Click here for photos of trees 100 years ago.

My hometown of Pella is an enthusiastic part of this white light trend. I walked through the town square and found only one tree and two strings of window lights that were NOT white.

In downtown Pella, white lights are de rigueur.


Stark or stunning? Pella’s Tulip Tower and a white-light tree.


A walk back home showed much the same.

white on white
White on white


There were no light bulbs when Tuttle cabin was built but now, it’s illuminated in white lights.
A house across the street shows some color.
But next to it–all white, blazing white.


White lights are where it’s at, right? Not everywhere–a reader poll taken by a country music station showed a preference for multicolored.

As for me, I’m a spectroscopist by training. I love all sorts of colors– I’m in that camp. The color adds a playful magic, in my opinion.IMG_4091

Upscale fake trees now come with both white and colored lights that can be changed with a flip of a switch. That feature isn’t found on string lights yet so people will have to pick their poison, er, light color, at least for now.

Best of all,  it’s not long until the days get longer and here in Pella, Iowa, we’ve already passed our earliest sunset.  Before long, the sun will be back and we won’t need the lights to brighten our mood.



3 thoughts on “Dreaming of a white light Christmas?

  1. Shelley Ellerston

    Have you been to see Oskaloosa’s downtown lights? They are definitely in the multi camp there.
    I like to put lighted decorations in my front window Year ‘round. You’re likely to see a snowman and a snowflake next month, hearts in February, shamrocks in March, etc. I like lights!!

    Liked by 1 person

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