The countdown clock to Christmas is rapidly ticking down. Advent calendars are partially used, and Twelve Days of Christmas are about to begin.
But something is missing.
Where are the lights?
Yes, we know there was a cold snap around Thanksgiving and a good amount of snow fell. But the snow mostly has gone away, and we're still not seeing many Christmas lights adorning area houses.
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Put on some gloves and grab a thermos of cocoa and get out there!
One of the most enjoyable parts of the holiday season is seeing homes outlined in lights or trees that have lost their leaves still come alive with white twinkly lights at night.
This newspaper runs entire photo galleries of holiday light displays. Neighborhoods around town are known for the gusto with which their residents embrace the Christmas spirit.
But an informal poll of folks who have been out and about after dark found a common theme: a severe shortage of holiday lights.
How is Santa supposed to find us, for goodness sake? We know Rudolph will be guiding the way but he needs lights for a landing strip, after all.
Lights add warmth and a welcoming glow. They give us reason to pause and reflect, to take a deep breath and smile.
The march is on. Christmas is coming. Get up in the attic or out in the garage and pull out those boxes of lights and decorations from Christmas past.
We know it seems like a lot of work, but in just a couple of hours you can have a decent display of lights and a whole lot of good tidings. You'll feel better for it. And so will we.