First, in a region, the Transkei, in the province of Eastern Cape, known to be South Africa's most corrupt and under-serviced, someone had apparently taken great care to decorate for the festive season. The potholes of Eastern Cape may never be filled; the proposed refurbishing of the Mthatha airport delayed forever; the schools in disarray; the hospitals under-stocked; but the lights, the beautiful lights, will shine for Christmas.
Second, many of the displays themselves seem out-of-place on this, the African continent. What has a sleigh, for example, to do with a land that rarely--and never in December--sees snow? Or Santa, that fat white man from the North who rides his sleigh through it? Or Frosty--the snowman?
There were the religious-themed lights as well. These, certainly, are not confined to climate or geography. And for me, a midwestern boy whose family used to search out the best neighborhood Christmas-light displays in our small Kansas town, the lights of Mt. Frere were, religious or not, a little taste of home.