When I was a kid I loved decorating the outside of the two story colonial my father built. When the landscaping was put in I was very excited to put up Christmas lights. During the holidays my dad would often share that I said to my mom, “the next time you go to town please pick up a couple more strands of lights”.
The Christmas lights in question were sold in sets of 35 and cost $1.99 per set at The Rite Aid. These lights used the standard sockets of the time and the light bulb sat inside the reflector, and the reflector plugged into the socket. I was delighted when I discovered a reflector from a set purchased at Ames, which was shaped like a crown, would fit into the same set as the set purchased at Rite Aid, which had reflectors shaped like a flower.
With LED lighting all the rage we have LED Christmas lights all over the house. They look nice but in my opinion they lack a certain warmth when it comes to the festive colors. There’s just something so enchanting to the traditional colors and the incandescent glow of these old sets of Christmas lights.
The 35 count light sets often had “two way flashing”, which was basically two circuits of lights. Each could be controlled by a red tipped, white “flasher” bulb. With one flasher, every other light in the strand would blink while the opposing light would remain steady. With two flashers in the set, the two circuits flashed to their own rhythm. If you put three flashers in the set, which the circuits were obviously not designed for, the circuit with two flasher bulbs would flash rapidly until one of the flasher bulbs burned out. I did that only once or twice.
During the Christmas season I was often found lying under the tree, usually snuggled up with one of the several cats we had at any given time, staring up into the Christmas tree watching the lights blink or twinkle.