With the holidays right around the corner, bring on the lights! Whether it is a sparkling Christmas tree, a flickering menorah or kinara, or floating lanterns, lighting plays a central role for us all during the holiday season. Every culture and family has their own traditions revolving around light, and we want to celebrate them. So, we asked a few people around our office here in Boston, “How does light affect your holiday?” And here’s what we heard:
John Goscha, Founder and Chairman of the Board:
“Christmas lights on the tree are one of the best parts of Christmas. Having a tree on at night, for me, is Christmas.”
Fun Fact: Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we know it today, but it was a British Queen who made the Christmas tree mainstream in 1848.
Michael Simon, CEO:
“Chanukah, the “Festival of Lights,” affects my holidays in a number of ways. It reinforces my Jewish tradition, it is a catalyst for bringing my family and friends together and it’s the center of a happy celebration replete with gifts and delicious, symbolic foods like latkes (potato pancakes).”
Did you know: The Chanukah story began thousands of years ago when the Jews reclaimed their Temple from Syrian-Greek soldiers in the Maccabean Revolt and relit the jar of oil that represented the eternal light. The jar only contained enough oil for one day, but miraculously, the light remained lit for eight days until a messenger returned with additional oil. The ancient rabbis attributed the eight days of Chanukah to the miracle of this single jar of oil. The miracle of the Chanukah oil is celebrated every year when Jews light a special candelabra known as the menorah for eight days.
Kristin Cefalo, VP of Marketing:
“My absolute favorite part of the holidays is putting Christmas candles in all of our windows. Walking into a room that has only the illumination from the candles just feels so quiet and soothing during this otherwise crazy time of year. It’s also usually just enough light for whatever I need to do in that room, meaning less overhead and task lighting. It gives a home a more intimate look and feel, from both the inside and outside as well. Picture perfect!”
Fun Fact: The original intent of placing candles in the windows during the holidays was to serve as a sign of “welcome” to neighbors and weary travelers back in the day. Seems these candles used to invite the craziness rather than keep the quiet. We won’t tell Kristin.
Camil Ghiu, Staff Packaging Engineer:
“Light has an important role in creating a particular holiday mood, more so during the cold season. With shorter days and diminished natural light, the artificial light becomes crucial.
For me, warm, dim light is ideal during this time of the year. It is in accord with the natural light level, making you feel integrated with your surroundings.”
Did you know: Celebrations around the world center around the same warm, dim light during the holidays to create a sense of togetherness. India celebrates the victory of good over evil with special candles and lamps during Diwali; Japan honors its ancestors by floating lanterns during Obon; during Loi Krathong and Yi Peng, Thailand floats lanterns into the air for good luck. We think Camil is onto something.
Veronica Corning, Marketing Coordinator:
“One of my favorite traditions for the holidays is Santa Lucia. At home, we put out a head wreath with candles as decoration and listen to the Santa Lucia Choir.”
Fun Fact: Veronica used to dress up as St. Lucia in preschool and perform for her classmates come Christmas time. St. Lucia is a tradition that marks the longest night of the year in Sweden. One woman representing St. Lucia, or the bearer of light, walks down the church aisle in a white gown with a wreath of burning candles in her hair and a red sash tied around her waist.
These are just a few examples of how light brightens our holidays. The effect of light on the holidays extends far beyond our office in Boston. All over the word, people and cultures celebrate light in their own way. What about you?
Think about how light affects the way you celebrate your holiday and how it touches a tradition you and your family share every year.
Happy Holidays from Finally® light bulbs!