Rough day so far. Ten years ago we spent a family Christmas in Florida. It was the year my father turned 70 and in his usual macabre way he wanted a special holioday since, as he put it,“this might be my last Christmas” of course he was wrong that time! As this will definitely be our first Christmas without him I'm not really expecting a very merry time, but I am determined to keep up as many Allison family traditions as possible. One of these being my tacky display of exterior Christmas lights. These date from that trip to Florida when we were treated to the displays of Christmas lights that many in the US seem to love. From Santa and his sleigh landing on the roof, fairly light illuminated and aninmatronic reindeer grazing on the lawn, right down to simple coloured lights in bushes and around the eves of the houses. I of course loved all this. My father in his pseudo grumpy old man way tried to work out how much the electricity cost! So next year I acquired a few rope lights and a Christmas train that had smoke puffing from its chimney and looked like its wheels were going round. Every year since then the collection has grown slightly to the point where I can’t actually get them all up at the same time. So this year will be a challenge! Christmas lights here I come!