There are certain Christmas Traditions that have depth ... they carry on years after they were first introduced. I'm one who embraces tradition. See, I'm Sentimental that way.
As a young girl, I remember fondly my father driving us around Valparaiso during the holidays to look at the lights and decorations. We'd take several outings throughout the season -- the longest one would take place Christmas Eve after church. All the houses were different. Unique. I liked it best when there was snow too. But the twinkling lights held a certain magic nonetheless.
There's a house near me. It's lit with blue lights and blue light icicles dangle from the roof top. It glows. My daughter asks me to drive by it whenever we are out at night. For some reason, that blue-lit house holds a special fascination for her. She remembers it every Christmas. She calls it "The Blue House."
There are many beautifully decorated homes and businesses near me. Not as many as some years, I'm sorry to say. But enough to enjoy a drive around town with your family to see them. It's low-cost entertainment.
Some people enjoy traveling to up I-75 to Rochester's Main Street to see the streams of colored lights. Others enjoy the elegance of Royal Oak's tree lined downtown decorated with ice blue lights and green balls. It's glorious to see when you're out in the evening.
But there is one house that I make it a point to never miss. My son and I discovered it for the first time a few years ago quite by accident. We were avoiding some construction and opted to drive down Lakeshore Drive in Grosse Pointe on our way home from a rehearsal. At the corner of Moross and Lakeshore is a very festively decorated home ... aglow with a quantity of lights in varying colors that come with an electric bill I certainly wouldn't want to pay. You can read a map sitting beside it!
It's not that house.
It's the next house. There's an expansive lot with a huge lawn. And this lawn is empty -- stark even -- but for one Tree. This tree in the front lawn reaches to the sky with long slender branches. And every single one of those branches is covered glowing white bulbs. Every single branch is lit as if painted with lights. I've never seen anything else like it. And then, to make it glow even brighter, a spotlight shines in it. It's stunning. It stops me in my path. I drove by it last night, turned around and drove past again.
My son and I might just have to take a trip over to try and photograph it. It's breathtaking.
It's amazing to think that a tree devoid of leaves during this particularly dark, dreary December can affect me so. It just goes to show that beauty and wonder can be found all around us when we take the time to open our hearts to it and clear our calendar to experience it. Even in the bleakest, busiest, craziest, most challenging moments there exists a source of Light mightier than the darkness. (Ties in quite nicely with the True Message of this Season, doesn't it?) Yes, this tree is truly awe-inspiring. Out of the darkness, there is beauty. If only you take the time to see it.
So that's my Christmas Week message to you. Look at the lights. Take a drive by. Stop racing about and checking off your list and choose to find a few moments of wonder. Take time to gaze outside your window and away from your cell phone to encounter beauty in the darkness. No matter what is under your tree or going on in your life -- or the world around us -- there is Light mightier than the darkest night. It's worth your time. And it's magnificent.
My parents are visiting this Christmas. Think I'll take them out for a drive ...
Merry Christmas to All ... God Bless Us Every One ...
and to All A Good Night ... Jenni