There was nothing more exciting at Christmas–besides the gifts–than putting up the Christmas lights on the eves of the house. My dad had a system and used the same lights each year. It was magical to see these lights through my window as I struggled to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. On this special night, my dad, ever vigilant to reduce his power bill, made an exception and left them on all night long.
Truth is, it was also difficult to sleep with him throwing parts around in exasperation trying to assemble the toys that would “magically” appear under the tree in the morning.
Next to spruce trees, outdoor Christmas lights are what set apart this particular holiday from others. Ask Clark Griswold. Who didn’t pile into the station wagon—I carbon-date myself—to see gaudy light displays on infamous Braddock Street? Every town has one of these streets by the way.
What I should have been focused on is what outshines even the most dazzling light display that could be produced by humankind. The shepherd’s witnessed it in the fields and it blew their sandals off. The wise men followed it in the sky to a little boy who’d change the world. But the forces of darkness have strived to snuff it out from its onset. In that light is life, and for some reason, the world would rather grope in the dark.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5
One of the saddest days for me was when the lights had to come down, like clockwork, on New Year’s Day. But thankfully, for those who’ve gazed at and accepted the Light of World, Christmas lights are on permanent display.