Christmas lights were more beautiful before they were made in Japan. Huge bulbs did not flash; when one went out, the string did not suffer from an electrical plague that made all black.
Aluminum icicle strands, no wider than yarn were woven on real trees. Like our ham, we sealed in freshness with the silver strands of thread foil. The huge bulbs were sometimes chipped of paint, causing an illusion of a real candle to appear on the tree. Those lights were so striking alongside the waterfalls of silver. Artificial snow in a can was not around. They strung popcorn on thread and wrapped it about.
A bicycle was what every boy wanted before the year Space Invaders and Atari invaded our homes. That was the year they came out with flashing strings of light so small and annoying that one rarely turned his eyes from the screen and a new row of critters that did not cost twenty-five cents a game to shoot, like the real ones in video arcades.