I was at the gym the other day and a gentleman asked me if I had stock in the utility company. The answer I gave was probably more than he anticipated. Since I was a kid I always had a thing for Christmas lights. They made me happy, they were joyous, they shouted out happiness. I grew up in a small town where we would drive around as a family searching out the best lights and were never disappointed. As I got older my enthusiasm never waned. This was an individualistic expression of families love of the holidays. There was no right or wrong.
As time passed the displays became more sophisticated. Choreographed light shows to music, blow ups, animated figurines and of course old school c-9's. it was all good. There were those that believed some of it to be tacky or overdone, but to me it still brought that smile, that feeling of joy and comraderie of the holiday spirit. I think that the season being finite made it even more special.
When I purchased the Chester location thirteen years ago we put up some lights more as a calling card "hey we sell Christmas trees and accessories." Although all elements of the business are important, the Christmas portion never represented a huge percentage of our total. Yet every year we did a little more in terms of light displays out front. Of course this was all at my behest. I suppose I subscribed to the sentiment that if they brought me joy or made me smile there would be others feeling the same way. So its really not about driving business, but hopefully more about conveying joy. It is my hope that of the thousands of people that drive by every evening, some of them smile as they pass. Perhaps you had a bad day at work, but as you pass you can't help but smile and feel better.
For those of you who think it's too commercial or tacky, I apologize. It simply makes me happy. I often contemplate Black Friday, Cyber Monday, staying out all night to shop, and on and on and on. Why do we do this? For me the holiday season is a time to stop and reflect and the lights are a simple reminder, a simple expression of joy. So it is my hope that we all stop and reflect. Put aside religious differences, philosophical and political dichotomies and just embrace the goodness of this holiday season.
Wishing you peace and time to enjoy the lights,