by Brittany, Age 18 , Grade 12
The Joy of Christmas Lights
I have so many memories of Christmas time. It is my favorite holiday. The memories are full of family and laughter. Christmas has always meant more to me than gifts. One of my favorite memories is seeing lights with my grandparents."I zipped up my black coat and pulled on my soft gloves. My brother, Garrett, and my cousin, Sierra, could be seen doing the same. My grandparents had surprised each of us with a phone call to see if we wanted to see the Christmas lights in O’Fallon. We all agreed. This was our first time seeing lights with our grandparents. I have seen lights before but they had always been with my parents."Christmas lights were always something I loved looking at, many of times my family would hop into a car and visit the neighborhoods to look at them. when we got my grandparent's house," We all piled into my grandpa’s white truck and were on our way. The sweet smell of my grandma’s coffee surrounds the entire truck. She always could be found with a coffee. Whenever we pulled up the park, the front entrance lights shined brightly like a sky full of stars. My brother, cousin, and I jumped out of the truck and into the bed of the truck. The soft bundle of blankets was wrapped around us to keep us warm. It was a cold night but nothing that was overwhelming. The beauty of the lights and the blankets helped us forget about how cold we were. My brother opened up the window so we could hear the Christmas music from inside. The line for going through the park was as slow as snail but nobody complained. It was beautiful, we all looked up in awe pointing out things that we loved or lights based off movies.
“You guys warm enough?” My grandma asked, her voice full of concern.
“Yes, this is amazing,” I answered back. Some might think I am overdoing the beauty of Christmas lights, and maybe I am, but I love it. I love the feelings that come with Christmas lights, everyone seems much kinder and the world doesn’t seem like such a dark place. I couldn’t help but grin as my brother sang very out of tune with the music. We were all huddled together and I’ve never felt closer to them. We were the youngest of the grandchildren, at family parties we clung to one another. They have been with me through a lot and now I was sharing this wonderful moment with them. Grandpa, I’m starving,” Garrett said loudly. His voice seemed to carry throughout the entire park. He’s always been the loudest in the family. This line was something that you heard often from Garrett, he loved going out to eat especially with my grandparents.
“Yeah me too,” Sierra agreed, “do you think we can somewhere after this?” She asked. My grandpa looked over at my grandma, I could almost hear the conversation they were having with just looks. My grandpa loved treating us out to eat, it was one of the favorite ways to catch up while my grandma preferred to just cook something at home. Still, sometimes she gave in. My grandpa smiled.
“Yes, that would be a great way to end the night,” he said. My heart seemed to grow lighter as I watched all the other families pointing out lights and smiling. Thier smiles were as wide as the ocean. They were enjoying time with one another. For a few minutes, they got to get away from the stress the holidays can bring and remember the true meaning; loving one another.
“Look! It’s the polar express,” I exclaimed as my eyes fell on the yellow and black lit up train. In the windows, there were all the characters and several other scenes from the movie. It was one of my favorite Christmas movies. We went through the rest of the park laughing with one another and enjoying the beautiful display they worked so hard on. When it was over, we all climbed back into the truck.
“Where should we go?” Garrett asked.
“How about Ihop?” I offered. Everyone immediately agreed. We were all breakfast people, whenever we went out with my grandparents it was usually always for breakfast. For the rest of the night, we enjoyed warm buttery pancakes and salty hash browns. We simply just enjoyed each other’s company, we laughed and caught up. It was a night that made me remember why I love Christmas time so much. It was a time when we got to spend time together and remember what’s important in life. There have been many holidays where I couldn't find any joy and it seemed as if something as amazing as Christmas couldn't make me happy. That's why I am so grateful for memories during the holiday time because it can be so hard at times. This is something I will always remember.