Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Lights

When I was little, really little, after Christmas Eve service at church, my dad would drive us around town to look at Christmas lights. It would be the four of us -- eventually the five of us -- snuggled into our little car, looking for the best lights and the best decorations. Back then, people didn't get too crazy with the decorations, but there were always houses that were more lavishly decorated than others. Those were my favorites. Lots of colored lights, maybe a plastic Santa and reindeer.

And now that I'm a lot older I find that I love the houses where the people go all out and make a complete spectacle of their holiday lights. The whole point behind the "Holidays of Light" is that humans have always looked for a way to light up the darkest days of the year, and turned to annual rituals to do so. Christmas lights on houses are part of these rituals. My feeling, as someone who gets a little depressed by the dark days, is "the lighter, the better." And so it cheers me to see a house where the lights are nutty and overdone; I love that people do up their houses just to cheer up other people. I love to visit the Denver Zoo for the Zoo Lights; this year we're going to try the Botanic Gardens, which we've seen from the highway a few times and looks quite beautiful.

So my favorite holiday sight is the lights. I love it when I look at the lights of the city this time of year and they're brighter than usual.

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