If I had to choose only one decoration for Christmas, I would choose lights. I love lights. As I write I sit in the light from our little Christmas tree, our new-this-year wall tree, and the lights strung on the ceiling around my son’s bed.

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One of my favorite things to do is turn off all the lights in the house, and just sit and look at the Christmas tree; it is so peaceful and calming. I love the first night time drive down Main Street after it has been turned into Candy Cane Lane, lights sparkling, making me smile. I love houses, fences, store windows decked out with lights. I love that at this time of year even the stoplights seem festive, reflecting red, green and gold off all the raindrops on my windshield.

There it is. God, “slipping out” of unexpected places. Every twinkling light shining out into the darkness, a reminder of the Light of the World, dwelling among us; a light shining in the darkness, which the darkness cannot overcome. Somehow at this time of year, conquering darkness seems possible.

Christmas miracles happen, needs are met, and wishes come true. Good seems to prevail, as people reach out to friends and neighbors and give to those in need. Scrooge’s Nephew said it well,

“I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, – apart from the veneration due to it’s sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that – as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys”

But life goes on despite the season. Tragedy happens, needs go unmet, and dreams crumble. As we see the decorations of the seasons let us remember what they represent and let us “open [our] shut up hearts freely” and be the light shining in someone’s darkness.