By Isabella Giallanza, Photo Editor
Christmas lights are a holiday staple: they are strung around trees, bushes and wreaths, and hung on roofs and doors. With each year, the amount of Christmas lights hung and their over-the-top displays increase tremendously.
Christmas lights have become traditions, sparking decoration contests and even tourist attractions during the winter in places like Dyker Heights, a residential area in Brooklyn which has been widely popularized by its excessively ornate houses. Through the abundance of Christmas decorations, however, the true spirit and meaning of Christmas tend to be unintentionally placed on the back burner.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. While Christmas has a defined date, Dec. 25, Christmas in the Catholic church lasts for twelve days, through the Epiphany on Jan. 6. This time period is known as the Christmas season when Christians are called to reflect on their blessings and give thanks for the joy that Jesus Christ brought into their lives.
Christmas lights, while beautiful and joyful, represent more than the bright colors and patterns they display. Christmas lights should be a representation of Jesus Christ, the light to end a period of darkness. Advent, the season leading up to Christmas, is a time in preparation of the coming of Jesus, the metaphorical “light” in a world of darkness and sin.
Light is a well-known symbol to represent Jesus because He was the Savior who was brought into the world to redeem humankind. Christians everywhere are waiting for their Savior and King to step down from the divinity of God. As Christmas lights are displayed in the nighttime, they are a bright beacon of light amidst the darkness of the night sky. They represent the light of Jesus, the cleansing of Original Sin.
How does one find Jesus in plastic lights strung upon bushes? Do Christmas lights truly represent their meaning — that Jesus is the light in our world of darkness — or are they simply used as bright decorations to make our houses look more festive than our neighbors? Titus 3:3 says, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.” Is the time which he is referring to in the past, or is it our present and future?
Instead of being distracted by the allure of decorations and beauty, allow yourself to do your part to make the Christmas season one of joy and thanks for all. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars and countless hours on Christmas decorations, considering spending that money and time giving to the less fortunate and providing for those in need in order to live out the true meaning of Christmas. Remember that true joy comes from within and through helping others, you touch their lives and they touch yours, for Jesus is among us always and He is watching and guiding you in your journey. Instead of hanging up lights, be the light in the world this Christmas.