A Miracle On 34th Street

A Miracle On 34th Street

The tradition like no other.

It all started in 1947, the very same year that its namesake movie debuted. Bob Hosier, a then-teenager residing in the Hampden section of Northeast Baltimore, decided to hang a string of lights on a tree in the front yard of his row home, and the rest was history.

Now, each year, from the weekend after Thanksgiving until New Years' Eve, the ordinarily quiet block of 34th street in Hampden transforms into an over-the-top Christmas light display -- a true "Miracle on 34th Street."

Crowds gather on this picturesque street to greet a timeless holiday tradition, as cheers and excitement disseminate through the jam-packed area with a mere flip of the switch. Lights not only cover the facades of the row homes themselves, but illuminate the sky above as they hang from roof to roof.

But these holiday decorations are not just your ordinary multi-colored bulbs on a string. On 34th Street you'll find houses with hubcap Christmas trees, bicycle wheel snowmen, peace-themed decorations, and light displays that pay homage to notable Baltimore icons: crabs, National Bohemian beer (aka Natty Boh), the Utz girl, and of course, the Ravens and Orioles. Walt Disney cartoon characters and Hanukkah menorahs light up front porches and lawns, but these houses would not be complete without their fair share of Santas and Frosty the Snowmans as well.

Each year I return, the lights never fail to amaze me. I wander up and down the sidewalks, gazing at the endless sea of illuminated houses. I "oooh" and "ahhh" at the unique and intricate fixtures, signs, and displays. I snap pictures of myself with my friends to capture the magic of it all. And I smile, thinking about how a simple string of lights could bring thousands of people together in one place, to celebrate the Miracle On 34th Street.

It's not just a season, it's a feeling.

Cover Image Credit: Pop Sugar

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.


Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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