Did you know that putting candles in the windows of your house is originally an Irish tradition? It is usually explained as meaning either that the home welcomes Joseph, Mary and Jesus (unlike Bethlehem) or that the home is Catholic and welcomes priests who preform mass. Why would you need a signal to welcome priests? Because there was a long time in Ireland’s history when mass was not allowed by the English rulers of the island. Now the tradition has come to America, where it usually means something more like: “I’d rather put a few candles inside than climb on the roof with icicle lights”.