Christmas lights. So pretty to look at. SUCH a pain in the rear end to put up. Craig and I spent three Christmases as Therapeutic Houseparents for teenage girls (that’s a WHOLE other story). But, each of those years we put up a ridiculous amount of Christmas lights and decorations in an attempt to win the campus-wide decorating contest. Which, by the way, we did win the second year. However, the third year was definitely rigged… they couldn’t let us win two years in a row after all 😉 Anyways, I digress.
I would love to say our annual decorating traditions were a magical time of great joy and laughter.
Here, let me give you a quick snapshot of putting up Christmas lights with teenage girls.
"I want to put the lights on the bushes."
"No, Mr. Craig said I could do that."
"Let's all do it together."
"These plugs don't fit together."
"Well, they are all on backwards and have to be re-done."
"Yay, finally got the lights on the bushes!"
"Wait, this section won't light up."
"I told you to test them before we put them on."
"Amy said they worked."
"No I didn't! You were supposed to test them!"
And eventually… “Ok, everyone just go play a game somewhere else, I’m finishing this myself .” At which point I continued to be frustrated by lights that kept falling down, extension cords running everywhere and strands of lights with only half the bulbs lit. But only for a little while, because I definitely didn’t finish that job. What are husbands for, right?
Fast forward to this year, and you probably won’t be surprised to know that we didn’t put up any lights. Honestly, I don’t think I know anyone who just loves putting up Christmas lights.
But everyone loves to look at them.
The bright colors, the twinkling of hundreds of lights, a glowing Santa, white reindeer, a quaint Nativity scene…there is something magical about that.
For the past two years, Craig and I have gone to look at Christmas lights with my sister and brother-in-law. We go to Dorothy B. Oven Park to see the light display and then drive around Tallahassee to find the best-decorated homes. It’s always so much fun and I guess it’s officially a tradition now.
Also a tradition now, is me dragging Craig, much to his demise, into a Christmas light tree (as I like to call them) for a cute picture. He complains about it being embarrassing or something. But you gotta do what you gotta do for the Gram.
My favorite house we found this year was the one with five, yes FIVE, Christmas trees INSIDE THE HOUSE. All visible through the windows. It was a big house.
If you live near Tallahassee, another amazing light show you have to check out is the Allison Christmas Spectacular. It’s a drive by musical light display at someone’s house that you can see for free. The amount of time that must go in to putting up that display is mind-boggling. Definitely worth an evening drive over to see it!
A Lesson to Learn from Christmas Lights
Like all good things in life, there is something to be learned from Christmas lights. After all the hard work, the frustrating process, and the ugliness of cords showing in the daylight…Christmas lights turn into a beautiful sight to behold each evening.
I think you know where I am going with this. Most things worth having or doing aren’t easy. And they aren’t always pretty to begin with.
So, whether it’s your job, your marriage, a new workout routine, or a crazy DIY project… keep at it. Because when you don’t give up on the process, you end up with something amazing.
What process are you pushing through right now?