I've made it no secret over the years, that I love Christmas. The spirituality and promise of the season, the music, the decorations, and the lights. When I was a kid, our family always seemed to struggle to put it together before the big day. We were always behind. So keeping our tree, decorations and lights up and on, long after the big day was standard.

Most people didn't back then and don't now. You could pretty much count on all your neighbor's Christmas lights going off on December 26th. I always keep my outdoor lights on until January 2nd. I'd keep them on longer but the cost of electricity could be prohibitive.

Yes, my little artificial tree is still shining luminously in its corner in the living room and I'm not certain when it will come down (maybe Valentine's Day, maybe not). It makes me smile. It changes my mundane, old, cold, house, into a brighter, warmer, more inviting place at night.

I'm starting to believe that others are seeking a similar injection of cheer, because there are a lot of Christmas lights still blazing through the night in many Sioux Falls neighborhoods. And I am all for anything that brings some joy and luster to what can be a bleak, lifeless, bitter month.


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