Holiday lights brighten community in dark times

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Teagan Smith

A house in Downers Grove lights up the street with holiday cheer.

Decorative lights have always been a symbol for the winter holidays. The weather is cold and miserable and decorations bring a sense of joy to walking outside because you are surrounded by holiday spirit. The sun sets early, leaving plenty of hours to admire the hard work that was put into setting them up.

This year, the tradition of lights is even more important.

The amount of Christmas lights I’ve seen in my neighborhood and those around me has increased tremendously. Houses that normally have one tree with lights now have four shining trees along with colorful bushes.

Many people are even deciding to put up their decorations earlier. The age-old controversy of whether you can celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving has been thrown out the window. Families who have always said they won’t put up their decorations until after turkey day had their house engrossed in lights halfway through November.

There are many factors that may contribute to this, one of them being that the holidays themselves are very different from years past. You are no longer celebrating with all of your neighbors, family-friends and extended relatives as we are still isolating during this pandemic.

For many people the winter season is near and dear to their hearts as they look forward all year to the joy it brings. We have been limited in ways to keep the holiday spirit alive, so we turn to decorating.

There is no better way to spend your time–because everything’s closed or cancelled–than filling your neighborhood with the holiday cheer that comes with bright lights.

One of the only holiday activities you can take part in is driving around to look at other people’s lights. This has inspired many households to improve their decorations from years past because they know that everyone is looking.

The pandemic has increased the popularity of drive-thru events: drive-in movies, drive-thru haunted houses, and drive-thru light shows. This holiday season we are all looking at lights whether it is at professional shows or our neighbors front lawn.