Odd Thoughts: Christmas lights keep giving

Langley’s Bob Groenveld recalls a time when stringing lights was a rare delight.

Entire books could be filled with the disparaging comments columnists like myself have made about the evil social plot that forces us to string up Christmas lights and sundry decorations each year – only to go through the miserable process of taking them down again each year.

Mea culpa!

The fact is, though: I love them. They create an abundance of joy where sometimes it would be hard to find any without them. They paint smiles on faces that otherwise might be streaked with tears. They light up the world.

As long as it’s somebody else – not me! – doing all the work of putting them up.

It’s just lucky for people like me that there are some people who don’t see it as a chore or a social duty. They enjoy it.

It is not an exaggeration to say they love going through the hassles of bringing light into the darkness – in as many different colours as humanly possible.

When I was a kid, Canada was effectively a Third World Nation by today’s standards. Our immigrant family was not rich – barely even poor – but always, and especially at Christmas, Dad and Mom made sure we lacked for nothing.

We lived in the sticks. One night between Christmas and New Year, Dad would relax his busy schedule between farming and working at the pulp mill long enough to pack the whole herd into our ‘55 Chevy station wagon for a drive through the Christmas wonderland of whole neighbourhoods filled with people who didn’t just enjoy coloured lights and decorations, but loved the act of decorating their homes and yards for all to share.

It wasn’t just pretty, it was stunningly beautiful.

If you haven’t done it with your kids, you really need to jump in the car tonight, pack in the family, and go exploring for lights. They’re everywhere, including places where you’ll least expect them. For instance, if you missed this ear’s display at Williams Park, go anyways. But when you get there, continue along 68th Ave. Past the park entrance, and just over the hill you’ll find a display created by someone who must love those lights more than anyone else in the world.

Christmas Day is past… but there’s still a lot of Christmas to be found out there, if you’re willing to accept what’s offered.

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