If you haven't ever achieved bokeh from Christmas lights you have to try it. It is so fun and addicting that you'll fill up those memory cards just messing around with it.
Here is my favorite from this location. Why a pear? I don't know I just like it. Could it be the partridge knocked it out of the pear tree?
The next 2 photos are shot with the same settings as the one above but you'll notice a huge difference and I'll try to explain why and how I achieve this dreamy bokeh (colored bubbles in background).
I used my favorite fixed lens 50mm f1.4
This lens is on my camera 99% of the time, if you have some Christmas cash and want a fun lens try, the 50mm f1.8 it's only about $100 and worth every penny but I warn you after you give that a try you'll be wanting the 50mm f1.4 which is a little over $300. The $100 lens is just that a cheaper version but so fun. Then in my case you'll be wanting the 50mm L f1.2 (Merry Christmas to me??)
The settings on my camera are
ISO - 800 (late afternoon in a dark kitchen)
Shutter Speed - 1/30 (okay to hand hold with the 50mm lens but needs practice)
Aperture - f1.4
Stood back away for the cupboard and focused on the pear. As you can see there are many items in focus that are on the same plane as the pear but behind the pear is in focus also. The lights are lit and pretty but no bokeh on this shot.
Settings are the same for everything. I just moved closer (you have to move your feet with a fixed lens..... no zoom). Now the pear is in focus and the jars are pretty focused but the basket and lights are starting to blur and produce bokeh.
Now if you go back up to the first photo you'll notice I pulled the pear closer to my lens and that is all that is in focus and you get dreamy bokeh.