Christmas lights are fun, let’s enjoy them

Christmas lights are fun, let’s enjoy them

“It was a tradition when our children were growing up to go on a Christmas light tour.”

I had a striking visual of light in darkness early one morning this week. A bright light, probably the planet Venus, shone with extraordinary clarity, and pierced an otherwise black sky. Given my Christian faith, and the time of year – less than a week until Christmas – my thoughts turned to the legendary Star of Bethlehem and the theme of light shining in darkness.

During the month of December, the symbolism of light in darkness is prevalent. Winter solstice occurs. Celebrated in ancient pagan traditions as the rebirth of the sun, it marks the shortest and darkest day of the year. In the Jewish tradition, Hanukkah, the festival of light, is celebrated for one week in December. Christmas, the Christian feast that celebrates the birth of Jesus as light to the world, also takes place in December.

Across traditions and time, there has been a longing for light to brighten the darkness of winter.

Every year in December, there is some kerfuffle about Christmas. Objections arise to the use of anything associated with the season that even remotely references Christianity. This year has been no exception.

In British Columbia, the debate began after a councillor in Victoria objected to, among other decorations, the lighting up of a giant sequoia tree. This prompted radio call in shows. A variety of opinions held sway. There were some who would do away with all Christmas decorations, lights included, in the interests of inclusion and secularity.

As someone who really likes sparkly Christmas lights, the suggestion that Christmas lights force Christian beliefs on others seems silly, overly serious, and misses the point.

Municipalities don’t put up decorative lights, colloquially called Christmas lights, in December to promote Christianity. The lights beautify the public space at the darkest and dreariest time of the year. The displays contribute to the atmosphere of good will that characterizes the holiday season. And, in larger centres, the light displays attract people into the city. This contributes dollars to the local economy.

For the vast majority, Christmas lights are not a proclamation of Christian belief. They are pretty, bright and fun. They punctuate the darkness of winter. They express participation in a seasonal holiday that celebrates relationships and generosity.

It was a tradition when our children were growing up to go on a Christmas light tour. We usually did this after attending Mass on Christmas Eve. We would drive through our village “oohing and aahing” at the colourful displays of lights. Last year, when family was home for the holidays, there were several outings to look at lights and “blow ups”, as my grandchildren call those inflatable characters popping up everywhere.

Our family is not unique in driving around to see Christmas light displays. It’s a common and simple activity that many enjoy. Christmas would seem incomplete without those strands of colourful lights illuminating the landscape.

The world is full of real problems with serious implications for humanity. Christmas lights isn’t one of them. For most people, Christmas lights are just fun. Let’s enjoy the beauty and brightness they provide at the darkest time of the year.

Trail resident Louise McEwan is a freelance writer with degrees in English and Theology.

Just Posted

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Author John Vaillant joins Lisa Moore and Fred Wah for Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s Alumni Reading on Friday, July 9. All three authors were featured at the inaugural festival in 2012. Photo: Submitted
FESTIVAL TALES: When 2012 meets 2021

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival will include authors from the event’s inaugural year

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read