I wrote this piece last year (2020) but it still seems quite relevant given that 2021 presented us with just as many challenges. This year, I’m hoping for a white Christmas, but since it’s unlikely to happen I’ll be at peace with the beauty of twinkle lights, the creativity of our spirited neighbors and some beautiful music. With that being said, I decided to pull this piece from the archives and publish it once again.

The Spirit of Christmas

When we bought our house nearly three years ago, like most buyers we took a leap of faith in choosing our neighborhood. We didn’t know we’d be able to walk to the woods in just five minutes from our front door. Nor did we know there was such a thing as a community email grape vine used by the community to stay in touch, informed and to lend a helping hand when needed. We also didn’t know we’d end up living on a block with kind, thoughtful and diverse neighbors. In other words, we scored! I often think of our neighborhood as a page straight out of a Norman Rockwell coffee table book.

One of the best traditions in the neighborhood is the annual house decorating contest for the holiday season. It’s all done in fun and very much in the spirit of Christmas. There is something wonderfully magical about walking through the neighborhood on a chilly December night taking in the joy of twinkling lights.

But don’t just take my word for it, here’s an awesome testament to the power of twinkle lights and music.

Welcome to the Neighborhood

However you may celebrate (or not) the holiday season, come take a stroll with us, and lose yourself in a few moments of the Christmas spirit.

Let’s start walking and see what we find, shall we?

spirit of christmas
White on white, beautiful!
A sparkling twelve foot tree adorns this yard.
Holding on to Hope

We found this next house especially meaningful. As the world eagerly looks forward to ringing in a new year, it has been a long time since we actually felt the promise of hope. Not only hope for the healing of millions worldwide fighting the virus, but also for the return of a coherent government in the US. I think it’s safe to say we could all use a whole lot of hope and peace in 2021.

  • “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” Barack Obama
Hope 2021 (written in lights)
When one just can’t compete.
For the Grinches
  • “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons… without tags… without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” – Dr. Seuss

spirit of christmas
Welcome to Who-ville! Grinch is on the roof.
Speaking of Grinch, here he is stealing lights.
Where Are You Christmas?

Let’s stop strolling for just a couple of minutes and listen to this beautiful rendition of Where Are You Christmas? Watch to the very end, I promise it will touch your heart.

All of the little snowmen are wearing masks and attending zoom school on the screen, with a bottle of hand sanitizer at the ready.
This family of snow people have a Christmas tree on the top of their car. I’m pretty sure I heard them singing Jingle Bells.
A Christmas tree made of nothing but lights.
Due to Covid-19, there was no official gathering of neighbors to “flip the switch” and launch the holiday season, but this beautiful tree shines on. As does the menorah hidden by the tree.
O Holy Night

Speaking of O Holy Night, take another couple of minutes to listen to seven-year-old Claire Ryan and her father singing O Holy Night. Whether or not your Christmas spirit is faith-based, this is truly lovely with a little girl who can sing her heart out. Enjoy.

Well, that’s a wrap. I hope taking a walk through our neighborhood with us, and tuning in to some beautiful Christmas music, has brought you a few moments of joy.

It has been a challenging year and it’s a bittersweet holiday season. There are many in need, but hope is on the horizon. Remember to go outside and take a long walk. It can do wonders for your mental health. And, maybe, you’ll find your Christmas spirit. If you do, pay it forward.

~ Merry Christmas from our home to yours ~
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