Leave Your Lights Up

We have just enjoyed the brightest time of the year. Holidays mean good will toward everyone. They embody the basic form of the Christmas spirit. A time to rejoice in the midst of an oncoming cold and the colorless sameness of blanketing snowfalls. It is a commitment to show the neighborhood that you care enough to brighten the nights. Our city is meant for colorful lighting, a sign of hope and cheer, as a physical display of its joyful resolve to be good neighbors. The lights are a reminder of our sense of community, a community which should not end with the passing of a month or two. Every year, it has been a disappointment to see them come down.

The lights, indoors and out, have shown our city's dedication to the holiday spirit for several weeks now, pleasing everyone - especially children - every spectacular night. But it does not have to end as suddenly as the tradition dictates.

Other cities have kept their outdoor lights up and shining brightly now and have no intention of taking them down anytime soon. Granted, much of this has to do with the cold weather, but there is a growing movement among our city dwellers to show their pride in this town by defeating the dullness of the oncoming weather by leaving up the colorful lighting displays they had during the holiday months. Lakewood itself continues to liven up the avenues with creative lighting displays. Other cities have taken up the challenge as well. Various places around the state have left the best holiday lights up. And, various homes around town should be commended for doing the same to their own spaces -- some even being so bold as to leave their trees up. Now that is true spirit! 

If more people thought that way, perhaps we would have a better city, maybe a better world. After all, it is one of the symbols of peace, love and joy. So consider leaving those lights up, even when the weather gets mild enough to tempt you to take them down. Your resolve now will reflect on how great the city will be when the snow flies again. Think about how noteworthy Lakewood could be if it held firm to its commitment to a beautiful city. It would be beneficial to everyone, especially the children, to see the lights go on every night.

Who knows, the dull stretch of winter might last a while, with the lights being the only break in a town where everything looks the same. Yes, the snowy landscapes are praised at first, but some people think they grow old after a long, cold while. Even these diehard lovers of snow will crave some variety. You could be the reason for a city reborn. So leave your lights up, and enjoy the appreciation of your town. Keep them up just a little longer than you normally would. After all, it wouldn't be any additional effort - they are already up.

Joe Gombarcik

Local artist. Amateur writer. Involved in local community events, including the yearly  gingerbread house construction contest. Organized the 'Leave The Lights Up' campaign for Lakewood,

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:23 PM, 01.22.2013