This I Believe

Mallory - Allen, Texas
Entered on October 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

I believe in looking at Christmas lights. I believe that these magnificently bright lights coupled with a freezing winter night make for an amazing Christmas Eve. Every year, my mom, dad, my sister, and I would load up into the mini-van to go venture through various neighborhoods to find the best Christmas lights. My sister would always want to go to the rich side, but I always preferred the less affluent part of town. I think the fact that the rich side of town’s lights were professionally done with immaculate precision made it seem unreal to me; like they just wanted to fit in with the neighborhood without the effort. Singing Christmas carols and silly songs alike, we would drive up and down streets, trying to decide which house has the prettiest array of lgihts. My father would often comment that the houses looked like Walt Disney threw up. This meant that they had too much color, or it looked like they just threw a bunch of lights into the bushes and considered the job done. But there would always be that one house that had the most impressive display of lights. We would all recognize it at once too. My father would stop the van so we could get out and admire its majestic beauty. People probably thought we were creepy staklers, like from Home Alone, but I didn’t care. I could always recognize the family’s joint effort in decorating their house.

One year, my parents fought all of Christmas Eve. I didn’t think that we would go see the Christmas lights. I was heart-broken. THere had never been a year that we didn’t go. My mom suggested that just the girls go. Tears welled up in my eyes. “Leave behind dad?…But dad always goes!” The memories of the four of us, laughing until we cried as we meandered through our suburban neighborhood overwhelmed me.

The year, dad didn’t go with us. It hit me hard. I realized how much I love my family, and how important it is to spend time with them. I believe that we should all bond with our loved ones, because we only have a short time before we grow up and leave the house, before our parents separate, or before we lose someone. I believe in looking at Christmas lights.