Why do we put up lights at Christmas?

Jennifer Bonn

Where is the origin of the tradition of Christmas lights? Christmas lights started out as candles on a Christmas tree. The tradition of a Christmas tree began in Germany in the 17th century. The lights can be the symbol of the light from the star which led the wise men to Jesus. It can also symbolize that Jesus is the light of the world, and at the time of his birth, we celebrate with festive lights. For most people though, it symbolizes Christmas and all the magic and celebration that comes with it.

I live in a small sub-division of ten homes where our neighbors feel more like family members. At this time of year, as soon as one person starts to hang lights, everyone else begins to put them up as well. It is exciting for the children to watch as lights and inflatables go up, and once everyone is finished, the children vote on the house with the best lights. This year, the house across from ours won because not only does he have a flashing Merry Christmas sign and chaser rope lights, but he also has a laser light show that displays snowflakes dancing on the house. One family has five children, one of whom is a baby, and the parents are both nurses, but they were able to decorate with candy canes lining the path. Another family also with five children has a yard full of inflatables, and the house is covered with lights. Every neighbor did something a little different, but it all added to a festive feeling.

Jen Bonn

Jen Bonn

Jen Bonn

Only because we let less important things get in the way, the neighbor who won for the best decorations and us had not done the lights the last few years. This year felt different as if several years of a pandemic made it imperative to celebrate our joy and blessings. My husband mentioned that we had forgotten how special the lights are to the children and my reply was, “I think they are just as special to the adults, we just feel silly admitting that, but I don’t think I will ever lose the childlike joy of Christmas.


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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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