Christmas Lights: The New Soup For The Soul
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Christmas Lights: The New Soup For The Soul

How Christmas lights may just make your day a tad better

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Christmas Lights: The New Soup For The Soul
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Growing up in small town New Hampshire, I have always loved the holidays, but mostly because I am related to Santa. You read that right, I am related to the big guy himself. Sleigh, Mrs.Claus and all. Yes, part of my grandfather’s profession was being Santa Claus during the holidays! As the town recreation director, he would be Santa for our local holiday parade, but it didn’t stop there. He lived in a time where he would visit families in town and read bedtime stories to kids while dressed as Santa, or he would make appearances at various Christmas functions around town. He even had a bright red 1920s Ford Model A that he would drive to all his Santa functions. In his spare time, he also collected all things Santa, from figurines, to sculptures, to Christmas cards, to special Coke cans. He wasn’t just Santa because he dressed like Santa, he was Santa because he embodied the Christmas spirit of love and giving year round. I looked up to him like a 5 year old looking up at a Giraffe, and I will never forget how he taught me to embody the same holiday spirit.

One day when I was quite little, it was December and my grandfather had a mystery box on his bed while I was visiting his house. As I strolled by, he pulled me aside and began asking me how my parents decorated our home for Christmas. I promptly began to describe how we trimmed out house in Christmas lights and put other light figures in our yard, but yet, I was confused on the relevancy of the question. After I finished, he leaned in and asked “Do the lights seem brighter closer to Christmas than they do when you first put them up?” Seriously pondering this question, I had no clue if they did! Was I supposed to know things like that? Had I failed Mr.Christmas himself by not knowing? I looked at him and told him that I had no clue and that I would do my best to find out for him. He stopped me mid sentence and said no need because, shockingly, he already knew the answer. The next words that he spoke will stay with me for the rest of my life. He looked me dead in the eye, right through to my soul practically and said "Christmas lights will always be brighter near Christmas because they don’t run off of electricity. Oh no, they are powered by the joy of people, and as you and I both know, Christmas is the most joyful time of the year!” My mind was blown. Absolutely annihilated. When I went home that day, I stared at out lights, knowing how joyful I was, seeing if they were brighter than I last remember. Alas, my grandfather was not wrong. But as the years have gone by, his statement has inspired something in me.

Lights are weird things. They purely serve the purpose to give us sight in the darkness, but at the same time we associate lights with happiness, joy, the future, inspiration, all good things. When I see lights, I always reflect on how ,my grandfather knew that. After he told me about the mystery of Christmas lights, I would go stop and stare at my own Christmas lights. He knew that I would stop for a moment and look at something that is quite beautiful, but lots of people just pass by and never give a second thought. Ever since that night of ogling at Christmas lights, I always stop and stare at some of the smaller things we don't usually notice. Whether that be a tree budding next to my old high school, Graffiti on an old building in town that the artist thought nobody would see, or even how much a person has changed since I first met them. It's those little things that surpass us daily, but we never really make an effort to see.

During the summer, I’m an in-park entertainer at an amusement park, and I have always loved working Friday nights because of my grandfather. I always enjoy, after checking in on all my critters and other personnel, sitting on a park bench and just, kind of...existing. Looking around at the glow given off by all the neon lights, seeing that a bulb in the Extreme Frisbee sign is out. Hearing the sale of light swords and glow necklaces to guests, and watching kids say goodbye to Molly the Mouse, someone they have been waiting to meet all summer. It’s these little things that sustain my humanity in a world of stress, politics and things I don’t want to deal with. The little moments and small beauties are what can keep us all sane, if we look closly enough. So tomorrow, on your way to class or on your way to work. Stop for a second. Look around, see what you can see. Try to see what other people can’t. At the very least, this holiday season, stop and look at some Christmas lights. It may just be good for you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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