Christmas lights – a holiday season treasure hunt

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2023

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By Lanell Downs Smith

On my first drive through Greenville and Luverne this holiday season, I was overwhelmed with the beautiful show of lights and color on display throughout each town. The sights unveiled a couple of childhood memories, from my own early years and those lived through the eyes of my children.

The streets of downtown Greenville and Luverne blaze with seasonal creations hung from nearly every light pole. Home and business glowed in white shimmer and popped with color from strings of tiny bulbs, shaped as trees, reindeer, snowmen and even a few indescribable shapes.

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I couldn’t help but think of how I have always loved Christmas lights – all shapes, sizes and colors. In the 1970s, our formal living room was awash every December with the large nightlight-style bulbs common then. Ours were red and the whole room glowed a warm, vibrant red.

Our tree also sported a string of tiny flower-shaped colored lights, varying colors strung in groups of first red, then green, blue, yellow and pink. It was a rainbow of holiday cheer, that Charlie Brown tree, and I lay under it for hours, entranced by its charm.

Many years later, my daughters loved Christmas lights too. On the long community home each night from Montgomery, we would play games to see who could spot homes with Christmas lights first.

“Chri’mas lights,” we would shout, each of us hoping to spot the colorful displays first.

Those were some of our happiest moments, mine, theirs, ours. I miss feeling the magic of it as I hurry here and yonder, but your beautiful outdoor decorations supplied that spark I needed to shift into the holiday spirit.

Thank you to everyone who decorates the outside of their home, church, school or business to bring cheer to their community. Your thoughtfulness made the six-year-old girl in me very happy this holiday season.