“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

Ann Frank

Depending on where you live geographically, the holidays invoke a variety of emotions and feelings. Some of us enjoy a white Christmas or festive winter holiday while others are celebrating the holidays in the warmth of full summer. Not only are the holidays a source of wonder and joy as we look forward to the celebrations with family and friends, but also a source of anxiety and even depression for some folks.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

Desmond Tutu

A Little SAD

I am known to suffer from mild Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, a temporary condition caused by lack of sunlight. I know…I purposely moved north from sunnier northern California, but I still had bouts of SAD while living there. But now that I recognize the symptoms of depression, I’m better prepared and can feel it coming on. I wrote about my experiences with SAD in this post.

Luckily, during the daylight hours, we see the sun peeking out and that is when I try to get outside for a few moments and let that light flood my eyes which stimulates the pituitary gland to change the brain’s chemicals linked to mood.

All that said, in the northern hemisphere, as days continue to shorten and nights lengthen, most of us look for ways to light up the night.

This is a close-up of my outdoor trees all lit up, backdropped against the actual trees in the distance, and the two trees in the snow.

As this is my second Christmas/winter here in the Spokane, Washington area, I have plenty to look forward to which helps keep things interesting and fun! But I will have to be ready when the February doldrums strike!

Lighting with Holiday and Winter Decor

Another way I can ward off the effects of seasonal affective disorder is to decorate the interior of my home. Once Christmas decor is put away, I will have various winter scenes and white florals around my home. Decorating is a fun leisure activity and brings me joy. In our new home, we have four transom windows (typically found above entry doors). Three are situated in our main bedroom and bring in more light. These areas make a surprisingly interesting way to display decor. Here is my current holiday decor over our front door.

transom light decor

I had random decorations to use and these stained glass tealight candle holders allow the light to come through.

Just this Thursday, it snowed most of the day, snarling traffic and closing some outdoor events in Spokane. I stayed home and took pictures! This is how I light the night in the front yard. I’m still amazed at how much light my camera lens grabs, especially with the snow reflecting the light. There is something quite serene in seeing winter snow lit up at night.

Lighting the night from within and outdoors

Many of you asked more about my holiday decorations. I managed to take a video from my phone and save it to YouTube (thanks, Hugh, for the suggestion)! Welcome to Christmas at my house!

Lighting the Night

The winter solstice is December 21, marking the northern hemisphere’s shortest day of the year. The good news is now we will gain one minute a day of sunlight until June! Meanwhile, the moon lights the night!

“It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.”

Richard Evans

A few more ways to light the night:

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesday: Candles or Lights
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Jude’s Life in Color: Kaleidoscope
Lens-Artists: Serene

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have until December 23 to share and link your post to this one.

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

Please share your links by Dec 23 if you can as I am going on a break until January 9th. I would like to include your links in the current post while people are still reading rather than waiting for the January 9th post. However, I will include any in that post that miss the deadline. I might hop in for the January “Bloganuary” Challenge for a few days, too.

This is the last post of 2021 as I take a short break for the holidays. Please join me on January 9th with a look back on your photography highlights and your 2021 year in review. Meanwhile, follow me on my social media pages:

image from Color Planet

Wishing you all the most magical season filled with love and laughter! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours. “See” you on January 9th!


© 2021-2022 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

118 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: #Light the Night

  1. Thank you for this Light Up post and prompt, Terri. It is very much appreciated. Today, on Vancouver Island, we are predicted to have 8 hours and 11 minutes of daylight (if we are lucky). Bring on the Soltice and the return of longer days!
    In the meantime, here is my lightup contributon taken at nearby Milner Gardens.
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. See you in January!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The lights of the holiday season are my favorite signs of the season. Recently this time of year has been especially sad for those who have been used to visiting family, but have to make other plans given the health and safety issues right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Still waiting for the snow to come. After a week with mild weather and 5-7C, it is now getting colder and perhaps it will be a white chritsmas 🙂 Have good week! I´ll see if I can take some new photos for this week…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the snowy photos. Lights on the snow look so beautiful and make houses seem even cozier inside. I hope your SAD isn’t too bad. One thing about Eastern Washington is that, while the days might be short, the sun does come out a fair bit. Over on the west side there would be weeks without so much of a glimmer.
    Enjoy your wee break and have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here’s mine today: https://grahamsisland.com/2021/12/19/christmas-lights-3/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Graham! You are indeed right about the sun being more abundant here! Thank goodness! So far so good, we shall see what the rest of winter brings. Today even with snow on the ground, everything is bright and the sun is actually peeking out, too! Enjoy your holidays and Mele Kalikimaka!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love those big windows, Terri! One of the things I find depressing about Portuguese winters is that shutters are closed to keep in the heat that the sun generated in the daytime. I can make my indoor space cosy but I do like to be able to look out and admire the neighbours lights. I really hate taking the decorations down in January. Those transom windows are great and I love your stained glass candle holders. Wishing you a joy packed Christmas, hon, and many happy days as the year turns.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jo! We have 21 windows in this house and I still can’t believe when I can look out any window and see pine trees, or this time of year, snow! Today I saw a 4-point buck meandering just beyond our backyard fence! I can understand closing your windows to keep in the heat. A blessed Christmas and New Year to you as well!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Terri, I love your post. You have a super party house. The stained-glass window looks so cheery both from the inside and outside. The layers picture is amazing and so unique. Is that ice or a sculpture or what? The full moon with the trees looks like they are part of the moon. I’m not sure how you did that, but it is super cool. You should write a book on photography! Oh wait, you already did that. What would be cool is a picture book with explanations, kind of like a modified version of John’s Cell Pick Sunday. Sort of a coffee table book, maybe.

        BTW, I had no idea you had 21 windows in your house! That’s a ton of windows to cover. Do they let in the cold? I’m sure they are well insulated, but you have some hugely cold weather!

        I haven’t even finished my post yet. I’m way behind, but I’m working on it as we speak. We have been to or hosted a couple of parties this past week. It seems like we have been so busy but looking at all you’ve done I think I might be standing still! Sunday Stills for sure. I’m glad to see you are doing so well. Vince has SAD, too, and we are lucky to be living where there is so much sunshine all year long. Yet when the clouds cover, we both kind of hibernate like Manny.

        Have a great Christmas. I’ll look forward to your call. Cee and I are doing a zoom interview with Brian Dodd – Bush Boy tonight. That should be a lot of fun.

        Talk to you soon! 🙂 Lots of love to you, Hans and the dogs. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m glad you like the home pics, Marsha! It has been a joy to decorate and just move into. You must be talking about that pic of my wooden Christmas tree with lights on it. It came out kind of dreamy with the editing I did, and thank you for your kind words! All those windows are dual-paned so minimal coverings are needed, thank goodness.
        As for my photography book, I need to update the one I have, but I don’t know how to use a mobi file 😦
        We have a busy week ahead, spending Christmas Eve at my other BIL’s house. They live nearer to us but still a good drive with ice and snow to contend with. It will be nice to stay home…I’m thinking of hopping into that Bloganuary prompt WP is sponsoring, but I doubt I would post daily. Enjoy your zoom meeting with Brian! He sounds like a character and frequently shares his fab photos on SS. Merry Christmas to you, Vince and Cindy and the critters! I will definitely call you soon! Love you! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks for the long and lovely reply. I don’t have many clues about publishing a book. I want to put one together for last year’s Story Chat, but so far haven’t gotten it together.

        I thought I signed up for Bloganuary, but I didn’t get a confirmation. I’m going to be gone for a week of the month, though, so maybe it is not a great idea for me. We will be doing Becky B’s daily squares in Feb, so that would be two months back-to-back daily posts. I think that might be too much.

        Have fun. Christmas is coming up fast! 🙂 Lots of love – M & V and kids. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Snow does make everything look bright, here we have too many cloudy and grey days so some extra light is beneficial. Thanks for all your links to my colour challenge this year Terri, and I wish you a very merry Christmastime and a happy new year 🎄 🎉 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Here we’re down to 10 hours of sunlight when it’s not cloudy. Thank you for showing us your beautiful Christmas decorations! Love it!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours. 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

  8. These are great Terri. I may be late getting to my post. I’ve been watching my grandkids since last thursday and I’m one tired lady. It’s the first time the baby has been away from mom and dad and she’s been glued to my side. NEedless to say I’ve done nothing other than keeping them alive…lol. Love the video you shared of your home. I don’t think I could live where there is even less light than we have. I need light. I would say I have SAD, BUT I do much better with light and if I can’t have that, then ambience inside is super helpful. We went around and looked at lights last night but it was raining so I couldn’t roll the windows down to get any photos. I’m going to try tonight or maybe wednesday when I don’t have the kids anymore..lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kirstin! Be kind to yourself and do not stress about blogging! You are the best grandma and I’m a little jealous as ours are in San Diego! I bet the lights were beautiful, and they may have looked dreamy through rain-spattered windows! Everything is bright white outside and I got in some snowshoeing yesterday! No sun but it was perfect to walk my dog. I may have to go back out today! Take good care of yourself and if you can’t hop in for a post then be ready on January 9th when we do a photo year in review! Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year, my friend!!


      1. Ohhh…snow shoeing would be fun to do. Looking forward to continuing in the New Year. I definitely gave myself permission NOT to post this last weekend though I miss it for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You have a lovely home and lovely decorations Terri. I know well about SAD, eternal darkness here it seems. I hope you’re making sure to take Vitamin D daily. 🙂 Happy holidays. ❤


    1. Thank you dear Debby! I know you know all about SAD. I was grateful to just come in from outside, walking in my clunky snow boots with my dog, while soaking up a low-hanging, watercolored sun. Happy holidays to you. Thinking of you at this time. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful choices for the challenge, Terri. It’s true that decorating and the “home arts” can be relaxing. I love your two shots of the moon! Just lovely. Have a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year. 😀


  11. What a lovely light-filled post Terri. Thanks for the tour of your house and decorations, it looks so lovely and welcoming. Your photos as usual are superb and I love seeing the bright snow and lights filling the post with festive cheer. I wish you all the best for the holidays and Merry Christmas from downunder. Thanks for the great year in challenges, I love joining in.
    I’ve shared our unique and very different festivities here https://debs-world.com/2021/12/19/lighting-up-the-night-without-actual-lights-for-sundaystills/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Light-filled indeed, I hope, Debbie! Thank you. The snow is still fresh and new, I’m sure I will get tired of it soon, although I lived through a winter here last year, but mostly in the suburbs and in the RV Park where snowplows abound. I snowshoed yesterday on my own property and around the neighborhood–great exercise! Enjoy your warm sunny Christmas and I’m grateful for your consistent participation in SS!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Terri,
    I’m a bit jealous that you have snow at this time of the year. We enjoyed a White Christmas last year, but predictions are for 60’s weather this year. Such is life in East Tennessee. Thanks for the home tour–great job! My contribution is from the Festival of Lights in Charleston, SC. All the best to you and Hans for a joyful and Merry Christmas. Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joe, I’m so glad you aren’t affected by those horrible tornadoes. 60s for Christmas doesn’t sound too bad, although I know it can snow there. I haven’t been to any festival of light shows in a while, good reminder–maybe next year! Merry Christmas to you all and take good care!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Terri, Thank you for the tour of your home and decorations. I like how you make use of the transom windows. Wishing you and your family a cozy and happy Christmas!


  14. Terri,
    Thanks for sharing a bit of your home with us. 🙂 As a relative newbie here, I didn’t know about you dealing with SAD. Although I don’t have a beach walk light …. well, I do but haven’t posted it yet …. here’s one of three that I did about the Sun. https://beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com/2021/03/30/57-sun-v3/ … Merry Christmas to you and yours …. and enjoy your blog break. After all, blog breaks are good.


  15. You’re doing a fabulous job with all your decorations, Terri. I can totally see the joy in lighting the house up, even though I have no experience doing so. That photo of your home photographed from the outside is one of my favorites (and the full moons, of course), because it captures so many moods and scenes. And I can even see those glass decorations in the transom window above the door! 🙂

    Happy holidays! I hope you can stay warm and jolly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Liesbet! I’ve taken some decorating inspiration from my SIL and her daughter. The trick is storing everything, and I can see why you wouldn’t do much decorating! Thank you for noticing the glass decorations in the transom from the outside view! I almost mentioned it but wondered if anyone would notice. Merry Christmas and a safe start to your New Year to you, Maya and Mark. Enjoy your warm holidays, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love your photos, Terri, and the tour of your beautifully decorated home. You have the gift! I think many of us suffer from SAD in the Northwest as short, dark days and gray skies prevail. We sometimes escape to brighter sunnier locations when we can but we’re still not flying yet, so we’ll survive another winter here. Last night was finally clear so I went outside to practice moonshots. https://catsandtrailsandgardentales.com/2021/12/20/practicing-moon-shots/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susanne! It’s a fun hobby and something I can do for each season. At least we get more sunny days over here, but strangely I suffered SAD even when I lived in San Diego. I was working of course and by the time I got home from work at nearly dark every day…so SAD, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I admire all the effort you put into decorating your lovely home for Christmas Terri 🙂 I do a bit but nothing like the same scale, and all we have outside is a wreath on the front door.

    I don’t have Christmas lights in my post as everything I thought of I then rejected because I’d previously posted something similar or with the same photos. So here’s a different take on the theme: https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/day-into-night-in-the-jemaa-el-fnaa/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, occasionally. Our dining room is decorated with photos from our Rajasthan trip – they work well with the sari fabric from Karnataka that we use as a window hanging! And in our bathroom we have photos we’ve taken of different coastal scenes, including one from WA (Rialto Beach)!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Terri – I wanted to share my link for this week (early this time – or at least not right at the deadline – hahaha)

    PS love how you have this week’s links and last week’s in this post – it helps for us to go and visit – and you do really great work with your challenge – just wanted to share that

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Yvette, so glad you could link to the post early. I find that adding the links while the post is still “live” may work better than a week later! Thank you, and I appreciate your kind comment. I really enjoy creating themes for Sunday Stills…I never know what I’m going to write each week or where the post will take me, although I have an idea about the images.

      Liked by 1 person

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