Lights That Are Making Spirits Bright


Whitney Steed

lights featured in Prairie Lights

The magical sight of lights glowing all around you, and the enchantment that comes with the massive and lively decorations. Setting up Christmas lights or yard decorations is a tradition that has been continued since the seventeenth century, originating from simply lighting a tree inside one’s home with candles. The holiday environment we know and love is greatly accredited to the twinkling trinkets that flood December nights.

As someone who has decorated for Christmas for as long as she can remember, freshman, Kylie Day, uses the happy memories associated with a childhood of her own to make the season more fun and joyous for children in her community. While many people begin to view the holiday season differently as they enter high school, Day is able to revive the child-like Christmas spirit that she experienced growing up, through yard decorations and bright lights on her home. The sense of family and cherished memories she associates with decorating for the holiday season, has allowed her past tradition to live on.

“Every year around December, my family and I have a certain day that we all plan to get together and decorate. This has become our family traditon, and gets us in the holiday spirit as well as spreading the joy to neighbors and those who pass by. We’ve practiced this tradition for so long, and my parents did this with their parents, so we hope to continue this for generations,” said Day.

Aside from the literal sight of the beautiful lights, the perspective of what putting up the decorations entails, contributes to the holiday spirit just the same. Junior, Michael Sterling, participates less in the display of Christmas decorations, and more in appreciation and recognition of the reason for the season. The merriment brought to the season is unquestioned by Sterling, but as he has grown his values around Christmas time have changed.

“Personally, I used to love putting up lights out in my front yard with my mom. But as I grew older, I shifted my focus from materialistic things to just enjoying the time of year. I associate a cheerful spirit with all these accessories because my religious background has played a huge role in my conception of Christmas. Putting up these decorations allow units to work together and spend quality time of happiness with one another, further proving the real meaning of Christmas,” said Sterling.

Outside of specific neighborhoods and homes, the community provides events to show the beauty of holiday lights and decor to children and families. Sophomore, Mallory Tran, witnessed the Prairie Lights display the past three years, and appreciates the delight it brings to her holiday experience. Tran notices how much work and effort is put into the event, and is inspired by the work ethic possessed by these people for the purpose of making others joyful.

“The Prairie Lights probably takes many workers, and a month or even months to set up all of the lights. Because I notice this hard work, I appreciate and enjoy the lights so much more. Events like this really bring our community together, as it creates a fun and festive environment,” said Tran.

Whether it be from the beauty they project, the meaning they contain, or the people they unite, Christmas lights and adornments will always brighten holiday spirits.