It’s one of my favorite things, has been since I was kid.
The warm glow of Christmas lights in the deep darkness of a December night lifts my mood and pushes back whatever gloom I might be carrying about. I can remember driving my kids around for hours during Christmas, searching for the “best” and “brightest” display of holiday cheer. My youngest would pay close attention during the day to try and spot the neighborhoods near our home that might contain the most displays just so we could drive there that evening and enjoy the show.
Christmas lights bring joy and encouragement to any and all who share their warmth. Neighborhoods are transformed from “normal” suburban sprawl to little magical kingdoms complete with elves, angels and moving reindeer. Homes that would seem to exude prosperous restraint during the rest of any year…suddenly explode into garish demonstrations of excessive color and sound, blasting the darkness with a ridiculous number of light bulbs and fat men in red.
Christmas lights return us back to childhood in a moment, re-igniting our innocence and re-inflating our simple memories of youth like a hot air balloon of happiness and pure joy.
I LOVE Christmas lights. I even love cheesy holiday movies about Christmas lights… (Deck the Halls with Danny DeVito for instance or Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase)
I’ve heard the stern arguments against Christmas celebrations, trees with ornaments and secularized displays of consumerism and discontent from our well-read and spiritually intense fellow Christian believers. BUT… I choose to see it another way.
Christmas is what we make of it. Like Easter and Halloween we can celebrate the amazing influences our faith has had on the pagan and secular customs that go back centuries or we can blow the proverbial candle out and settle down to watching a black and white version of the Holy nativity, skipping the whole thing. We could choose to make some doctrinal point to the world by demonstrating our spiritual superiority…BUT we would be a serious buzz-kill, missing out on all the joy and life that every good – over the top – Christmas celebration brings.
Parents, relax a bit…but choose carefully this year how you want to celebrate Christ’s birthday with your families. My encouragement after raising 3 kids is for you is to go for it!
Light it up ! Flip the switch with all the fanfare and beauty and excitement the King of Kings deserves. And while your decking the tree out and stringing up your lights with all the gusto of Chevy Chase… remember that we’re not celebrating, we’re exhibiting the joy and peace that the Christ child brings to all who will let Him “live” within them.
Christians… we’re all able to be brilliant lights in the night. If we go through life with the King of Kings, we can’t help but “illuminate” our world, and that my friends is the “truest Christmas light” we can ever put up for display.
Merry Christmas parents from Road Trip Parenting… my suggestion; be sure to take your kids out for a neighborhood “road-trip” this year… and snuggle with your honey as you crank up some classic Holiday tunes and tool around your town. Your kids will never forget.
Peace out, Pastor B.