Before I begin, to review the traditions I've shared so far:
1. Making cookies for Santa with Madeline and Olivia
2. Taking Dane to a movie on Christmas day
3. Going to Vandalia with Mom and my siblings to see the "Life of Christ" display
4. Chilling out to the Christmas tree lights while listening to "December"
5. Stamps as a gift for teacher
6. Christmas at Grandma's
7. Deana Mae's biscuits (that are actually rolls)
8. New Year's Day at the Reynolds' home
9. Books as gifts for the kids
10. Movie by my self on New Year's Eve
11. Fake gifts under the tree
And the twelfth traditions Going to look at lights!
I didn't do this one this year. I got to go with the Reyes family last year, or I probably wouldn't have done it last year, either.
I used to love to drive around looking at holiday light displays, and even took Jordan out with me a time or two when she was much younger. I was hoping to get to show Binx the lights a block over from my house at least, but didn't even get that done this year.
I saw a lot of light displays when I was delivering pizza. I also got to listen to every one of my Christmas CDs several times over when I had the job. The reason I probably wouldn't have done it if David and Julie hadn't asked me along last year is that driving myself around would remind me too much of the glory days of the pizza delivery "job to support my teaching hobby".
I do love seeing light displays, and if someone drives me around, it doesn't remind me of being in my car, taking yet another pizza order to another home for hopefully a decent enough tip. Also, in my old age I'm finding I want to be a passenger more and more often.
I like to see what people come up with, how they go about decorating, and so on. I love that the house a block over has what appears to be "put lights on everything, and put stuff in the yard so we have more things to put lights on" sort of approach.
I also love streets that have a whole "Christmas Town" sort of approach, where all the houses are done up all super-mega and just looking down the street makes you think of dreams you had when you were young and reindeer could fly and if you could just stay up long enough and sneak past the adults (and if you could keep hidden behind the television) you would totally catch Santa bringing your presents.
Colored lights will forever be associated with joy in my mind. I'll always remember the little girl who used to live next door when I lived in Kansas City (Olivia was her name, but she's not the Olivia I see weekly) seeing my Christmas lights on my house for the first time and just shouting out--voice full of unabashed joy and admiration--"They're so beautiful!"
That's how I feel inside as I go around looking at lights.