With the busy-ness of the holidays I eagerly embrace anything that sparks the season within me. I didn’t have to look farther than 2812 Alabama St. in La Crescenta.
Steve and I on Sunday night decided to drive around town to see the decorations people have put up. Without a doubt there was plenty to see but it wasn’t until we stopped at 2812 Alabama St. that we settled in to be entertained.
The owners have an elaborate display that is choreographed to holiday music. We were instructed to tune our car radio to a station that broadcasts the music being played at the house. From the comfort (and warmth) of our car, we watched the lights dance to the music played.
We then made our way to the 2600 block of Orange Avenue, over by Monte Vista Elementary School. At one of the homes is a light display that reflects the homeowners’ love of the season.
Thanks to the owners of both homes who helped my holiday season come to life.
This time of year evokes many emotions – from panic to sadness to joy. Panic typically revolves around the present you forgot to purchase or trying to attend every single holiday get together or mailing out Christmas cards in a timely manner (I, sadly, gave up on that one years ago).
Sadness can overshadow the holiday season as we grapple with the loss of a loved one. This season I have placed obituaries for several people I knew and the loss their families is experiencing is heart-wrenching. Despite knowing that their deaths are the natural result of disease or age, those left behind have to deal with that empty chair at the holiday table.
With a son in the military who is preparing for deployment to Afghanistan, certain songs this holiday season are putting me in a weepy mood. For example, I was listening to Josh Groban’s rendition of “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” a song that has its roots in the military. From what I’ve read, the song is sung from the point of view of a soldier stationed overseas during World War II, writing a letter to his family. In the message, he tells the family he will be coming home and to prepare the holiday for him. The song ends on a melancholy note, with the soldier saying, “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.” In Groban’s version, real military folks share holiday messages with their families and families share their holiday wishes with their loved ones far away.
Call the “wambulance” because I’m crying.
This is a time of year that should inspire hope, though. For believers around the globe, that hope is not found under a tree but in a manger. Of course I’m talking about the “reason for the season:” the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas commemorates that birth and the hope it inspired. Sometimes it’s hard to reclaim that hope, however; with the holiday hustle and bustle, I know it is easy to forget to slow down and allow that hope to wash over us. And that’s a shame because the birth – and all it means – is a gift, one that is available to everyone. I guess the real question is whether you ready to accept it.
My wish is that you find peace and hope this holiday season, that joy fills you and you find the time to enjoy the reason for the season.