By Tom J. Bechman
Our son, Daniel, has been fascinated by Christmas lights since he was a toddler. As soon as he was old enough to climb onto the roof, he began putting up Christmas decorations, and lighting up the roof. The roof of our house has said 'Merry Christmas' for quite some time during the Christmas season.
Last year he and his girlfriend, Katie Jones, spent literally days, some late into the dark evenings of November, finishing the lights. She told him they wouldn't wait that long this year to put up decorations. They didn't.
He became intrigued with equipment that puts music to lights, and makes the lights 'dance' to music. But he soon realized that wouldn't be allowed, because it meant some extra expense, until someone named Katie got a ring. She got it in January 2015. His birthday is in April and part of his gift from us was money toward his magical box that makes lights dance and music flow.
He has been working on it off and on since mid-summer, making forms to hang lights in the windows more easily and trying out different designs for different decorations. He and his fiancé, Katie, started earlier, but still finished in the dark for the big "light reveal" on the Sunday evening after Thanksgiving. It took longer to program than he expected, and if you saw all the wires running to it and intricate movements it makes, you would understand why.
The light show goes on every evening until New Year's Day. Katie, his wife since Dec. 5, recorded a message telling everyone who tunes in and watches the display to leave a donation for the food pantry, to enjoy the show, and oh yes, to understand the real reason for Christmas.
Because even though there are dancing lights and all lights are seldom on at once, which is good for my light bill and prevents GFI receptacles from tripping even on rainy nights, the Nativity scene in the middle of the light show is always on – it never goes off.
Our minister even mentioned it during the sermon last Sunday. He had stopped by, and he told the congregation they needed to visit. "You will be dazzled by the music and the lights," he said. But the entire scene points to one thing – the baby in the manager, always there, always lighted."
It's a plastic baby Jesus and an old set at that, but he's right. Dancing lights attract attention, and music makes it even cooler. But it would all mean nothing if it wasn't for the baby, the real baby, that came to a manger so long ago.
Here's hoping you have a truly Merry Christmas, and as Katie says, from our family to yours, that you find the true meaning of Christmas this year.