What would Christmas be without lights?

Published 9:57 am Monday, December 20, 2010

Column: Something About Nothing

I had a hard time writing my Christmas column this week. What could I possibly say that I have not said in the past few years.

In the first draft I wrote about simplifying Christmas and the commercialization. It didn’t feel right.

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In the second draft I wrote a silly ditty to the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” the one that starts, “’Twas the night before Christmas.” That did not feel right.

In the third draft I wrote about the difference between wishing someone a merry Christmas and happy holidays. It didn’t feel right.

Then I looked up and saw the Christmas lights on Main Street in Wells. Only half of the poles decorated with Christmas lights were lit. I had heard the rumor that we weren’t going to have Christmas lights at all this year but then someone donated the money to put them up. Perhaps our community is doing with Christmas lights what they are doing with street lights, which is alternating when some are lit to save money. I don’t know if the rumor is true or not that we were not going to have Christmas lights at all.

I remember as a child loving the brilliance of the Christmas lights. My parents would drive around different communities so I could see the lights. When we became parents we did the same thing with our children. They loved the Christmas lights that decorated the main streets of communities. Now I have grandchildren and they love the tradition and sparkling beauty of the Christmas lights. I wonder how much longer they will have that joy.

It makes me sad that at some time there might not be Christmas lights decorating our communities because of the cost. Some argue that the money could be well spent elsewhere. Christmas lights seem to give people hope when all else seems dark.

I wondered what would happen if there were no Christmas lights, if there was no Christmas frenzy and gift buying and all we were left with was the day Dec. 25, Christmas Day.

In Bethlehem long ago, in that manger a baby was born. There were no sparkling Christmas lights — just the star that signified Jesus had been born. The only gifts given were those of the wisemen who offered treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

If the Christmas lights and all the material trappings of Christmas go away, all we are left with is the true meaning of Christmas, the tiny baby, born in a stable. That in itself is our hope for the future.

Merry Christmas!

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” — Dr. Seuss

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at thecolumn@bevcomm.net. Her blog is paringdown.wordpress.com. Listen to KBEW AM radio 1:30 p.m. Sundays for “Something About Nothing.”