Sunday, 7 December 2008

Christmas Present Versus Christmas Past

I love this time of year, with all the lights and festivities and mince pies. Mmmmm... mince pies. *drooling*

Sorry. Got a little distracted there. As I was saying, I love this time of year, for many reasons. Aside from mince pies (which are, I think, my favourite UK holiday tradition), one of the things I look forward to the most are the decorations all over the city. Perhaps because it is dark for quite a considerable number of hours a day (much more than it is light each day), Aberdeen goes all out with lights. Not only does it make me happy to have a little more sparkle in the dark winter days, it also reminds me that it was at this time of year, long ago, that wise men followed the light of a star, that shepherds were surrounded by the glorious light of the angels, and that Christ came into the darkness of our world to be the Light of Life for us. It never hurts to be reminded of these things.

Rebekah, Paige and me

A couple of weeks ago, I met friends Paige and Rebekah in town for the Christmas Parade and lighting festivities on Union Street. This is the first year I have gone into town for the actual event itself, and I was looking forward to it. After all, I'd been hearing for weeks that the lights were ALL NEW this year. Woo hoo! Funny, though, because the lights were also ALL NEW my first year here... but nevermind. Anyway. I met the gals in town, and we grabbed a spot to watch the parade and the lights coming on as the parade progressed. It was freezing out, but I had coffee.

My first gingerbread latte of the season, to be precise. All was well.

Until they turned the lights on. This is what we had last year:

Colour and variety, sacred and secular. I loved them. If I had known it would be their last year, I would have taken more photos.

This is what we have this year:

I mean, seriously? It's just a little too tacky, a little too Vegas, a little too disco for my taste. The blue is just too... electric. Or something. I don't mind blue and white lights at Christmas one tiny bit. But these are just not the right blue. And they are all pretty much the same, which is boring. *sigh*

That's not to mention the slightly bizarre parade. This was the best part of it, pretty much:

Okay, not really. It was... different. And I'm glad I went. But my vote goes to the Lights of Christmas Past-- the ones from last year in Aberdeen, yes, but mostly the one born in a manger in Bethlehem. He is the real reason I have joy in my life, this season and every season.


Barb said...

Okay, seeing the comparison, I'll agree with you that I like last year's lights better. But I thought the wise men followed the disco ball? Maybe you better go back and read the story again. :)

Here's hoping you have a blessed Christmas season, celebrating the True Light and his advent into this dark world. Miss you, my friend!

Amie Vaughan said...

True, at least the got the disco ball right... it was definitely missing before. Glad I'm here in Aberdeen, where we scholars dig to the bottom of the story to get the truth. ;)

I hope the same for you, Barb... I miss you, too! =)

Mrs4444 said...

What IS a mincemeat pie, anyway?

Amie Vaughan said...

In the States, it's mincemeat; here it's just mince. Then again, here 'mince' is ground beef, so calling something 'mincemeat' would come straight from the department of redundency department. =D

Mince pies traditionally were made with mutton, but these days that gets left out (thankfully). Other than the mutton then, and still now, it is a delightfully thick and spicy mix of dried fruits, nuts, spices, sugar, and such. Check out this link ( for a short history and ingredients list.

My family traditionally made one big ole 9" mincemeat pie, but was just too much for me. I prefer the individual pastry ones here. =)