The Joy of Lights

As a child, we look forward to Christmas because Santa brings us a pile of things we wished for that Mommy and Daddy would never get us. We write letters, go sit on his lap, ramble off a list of outrageous ideas and die in anticipation until that beautiful morning when everything has arrived. We ooh and aah at all of the lights and displays and songs. We base an entire year on one fateful day.

As an adult, I’ve learned that with this huge day comes a certain feeling. When Christmas is close, I just get all warm and fuzzy. There’s an unspoken sense of contentment that comes with the season. It has become more about giving and making my children happy above all else. To see the looks on their faces on Christmas morning makes the stress and dread of the season all worth while.

This year, that feeling just wasn’t there. I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough under the tree. What if Santa could not bring everything my babies wanted? What if there was ONE thing that was not there that made everything they did get seem insignificant? I became so obsessed with seeing that one look, that one smile, that one sparkle in their eyes, that I forgot to enjoy the season. That is until two nights ago.

Time for a back story… (bear with me, there’s a point!). I live in King William County, Virginia. It’s a fairly small county so when I was growing up, everyone pretty much knew everyone. There was always one house at Christmas that was the prettiest and most festive at Christmas. This house belonged to a well known and liked family. The house itself is simple. A quaint white rancher sitting off the road with a slightly sloping yard leading to a pond. At Christmas, this family decorated with plain white lights but did it in such a beautiful way. The pond has lights around it. The house has lights on it. The yard has lights in it.

Well last year, the house was not decorated.The county was devastated but understood. Every family has trying times or just gets tired of doing the same old thing. Whatever the reason was, Christmas was not quite the same. This year, it looked as though those decorations would not make it up again. Facebook was in an uproar when my dear friend, Jimz, posted that those lights might not make it up. Everyone offered to help out in any way they could to make those lights happen this year. However, they never went up, at least not that I saw.

Then Monday night, I was riding to the store, just talking up a storm when I saw it. The entire house was lit up. The tree constructed of white lights was shining with the intensity of a thousand angels. There were deer lit up on the pond. The house had lights. Even the drive way was lit up!!! It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. I went completely speechless. For those of you that know me well, you know how big of a deal this is! I could not speak. I just stared.

In one second, it all came back. That feeling, the warm and fuzzy one that used to come with Christmas. I FELT Christmas and it feels like sheer joy. In that moment, I knew that Christmas would be great as it always turned out to be. The stress melted away. All at once, I believed in the Miracle of the holiday, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and every one of his freakish little elves! Christmas had come back with a force. I was reminded that it did not matter how much my kids got. They are good kids, they’ll be grateful for whatever they receive and would be okay if they could not get anything. I was reminded that Christmas is about family and being together. I was reminded that no matter what, I’m blessed more than so many people that I know for not only did God give His son to save me, he gave me MY children to do the same.

For this I must thank this family. I really thought I’d be the only one that was so enthused but Jimz received so many Facebook comments about how happy they were to see those lights. It’s amazing what a few Christmas decorations can do for a family and a community. They may not realize it, but this family makes the holiday special for everyone who sees their display. I’m sure that one day, much to our dismay, these lights will no longer be up for all to see, but that one memory will live with me forever and I’ll always remember what Christmas is about.

Merry Christmas to you and yours this season. I hope Santa was as good to everyone else as he was to me. God bless you all. 🙂

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