The lights of their lives
A Christmas task these two Grazettes women budget for
Despite the harsh economic times and a forecast for an even bleaker 2015, some Barbadians are letting none of this steal their holiday cheer. Some are still sticking to tradition, and going all out with Christmas decorations in and outside their homes.
Two Grazettes, St Michael women –– Tracy Grazette and Andel Cummins –– have been bringing life to their neighbourhood –– one for nigh a decade –– with their Christmas lights; and they have no intention of stopping. They both concur it is magical, and they will continue doing it.
“I’ve been out here ten years now. And [Andel] for about five years. I had to encourage her to do it outside the house, and not keep it inside; to share the beauty,” said Grazette, who explained that she got a thrill from seeing the lights come on and the response they get from the public.
“There’s a lot of hard work in doing it, yes; but we both love the end result. And seeing the children and adults pass through, and hearing the oohs and ahhs and wows . . . !
“For me this year, it was mostly for my son. He’s turning two and I want to get him into the same lighting thing,” Grazette said.
Cummins confirmed that for hern too it was the end result.
“It’s like art to me. We wanted to create something that people could enjoy in the midst of all that is going on around them. If we can be a part of that, it’s great!”
As for the neighbours, they just love it, the two women attested.
“The neighborhood has a general expectation; look forward to it. It’s becoming part of the community; and we just want to creat an opportunity where people can come and enjoy,” Cummins explained.
The illumination, which was officially turned on Sunday, has already begun to attract much traffic to the two homes, Grazette reported.
“The lights took us about two weeks to put up, because we both have full-time jobs,” she said, adding that about ten other people had chipped in; “and we both helped each other.”
Grazette and Cummins are yet a little puzzled how so many people outside their neighbourhood have come to know about the lights, as they are not located on the main road.
“We are trying to figure it out, because we don’t tell people . . . . We see so many people coming through! And we don’t know how they know.”
As for the cost of it all, Grazette and Cummins say they plan for it –– Cummins having now found an alternative way of dealing with it.
“When we first started, each month I paid [the utilities bill] early, and also paid some extra. So when this time came it was a bit more manageable. But then the wonderful world of alternative energy came and I joined the ranks,” Cummins said. “So this is my first year of using alternative energy; and I’m looking forward to the end result.”
Grazette added: “It’s an occasion we look forward to; so we plan for it accordingly. It hasn’t been a burden as yet, and I don’t think it will become that . . . . Because I love it, and I budget for it!”