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On Sunny Lane: Let Your Light Shine

Thank you and Merry Christmas to all of the people who put up beautiful lights on the outside of their houses and in their yards.

Merry Christmas to those of you who don't illuminate the outdoors, too. You have your reasons.

Actually, Sweetheart and I have our reasons. We don't put up Christmas lights outdoors, although the indoors is well-lit. One year we did attempt to adorn the front porch railing with lights. We had got some of those net-like strands that are used for bushes and such in a box of sundry items at an auction and thought we would try them out. And, so we set out upon our mission.

It didn't take long for us to discover that the tangled lights were more than we could untangle. It did no good to patiently extricate one cord at a time. I think a loosened cord would re-entangle when we had our backs turned.

Soon Sweetheart suddenly remembered a chore he had to do that couldn't wait. He left me abandoned in a heap of cords and lights.

It's just as well. We live on the side of a hill where motorists do not pass by. The only people who would see lights on our front porch are people coming to visit us and Sweetheart and me as we return from an evening outing

My mother had her own ideas about decorating the outdoors. We got a real evergreen tree every year at Christmas time when I was a little girl. Just about everyone did back then. She would cut off some of the bottom branches so it would fit in the tree holder.

She would nail them around the lintel and doorposts on the front porch. Then she would drape the large multi-colored lights around the branches. There were seven of them. It did my little heart good to see the lights shining in the dark when we would come home from a visit after supper.

It still does my heart good to see Christmas lights shining on people's houses and in the yards. It lifts my spirits and reminds me of Jesus, the light of the world, who came to shine in a dark world.

In fact, I have been seeing lots of lighted nativity sets on display outside of houses everywhere Sweetheart and I go. Is this a sign that more people are sharing their belief in the reason for the season?

I can't help but think that those nativities are made in China. Just about everything is. I wonder what those factory workers think as they pass those plastic images down the assembly line, adding bits and pieces here and there.

Do they wonder who that man, woman and baby are and why the baby is lying in a manger filled with straw? Do they wonder why anyone would want to put it in their yard? Do they wonder why anyone would think they're special? And what would those factory workers do if they knew?

All of the Christmas lights are not in yards or houses. Some are in our hearts. Let your light shine.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at

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