Are We All Lit?

Approaching the shortest day of the year, it sometimes feels like the darkness is all-encompassing. Even at the height of noon, the sun often has trouble penetrating the cloud cover. At those times, the lights of Christmas are the saving grace of the season. At night, they lend a magic to the land, twinkling with charm as they wink at passers-by.

As a kid, one of my favorite things to do was ride around looking at all the holiday lights. I memorized many of them – the wreath at the bottom of Northhampton with the big traditional Christmas bulbs in it, unchanging from year to year. The impressive stand of twinkling stars at a local Congressman’s house. The simple homestead, cloaked all in red spotlights, glowing at the top of Coolidge Road. These were my memory markers, the totems of Christmas as it crept in through the darkest of nights. They were beacons of color, mileposts of wonder, respites of warmth no matter how cold the world grew.

Our own lights changed from year to year, depending on what inspired me, or what I felt like putting up. Somehow, as it always ended up doing, charge of decorating fell to me. At first I insisted upon it, then it became expected. With Andy, it was always up to me. This year, I’m taking a break from it all. It’s time for someone else to light the way.

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