Christmas Conversation #14: Do lighting displays add to or detract from the real meaning of Christmas?

Christmas Conversation #14:  Do lighting displays add to or detract from the real meaning of Christmas?By Stacey TuttleIt’s Christmastime and people around the US are risking their lives on their rooftops putting up Christmas lights.  There are those who choose to inundate their yard with garish lights and wooden cut outs of every possible Christmas icon:  Santa, all the Reindeer, the Grinch, Elves, The Abominable Snowman, Frosty, Joseph, Mary, Jesus and all the Wisemen, camels, barnyard animals…they can’t decide on a theme, so it’s one big happy party for EVERYone in their yard! This yard even includes Bart Simpson…because, he’s a Christmas tradition right up there with Rudolph, right?  I love the description, someone commented that this yard is decorated “a la Clark Griswald and Martha Stewart on [drugs]” …do you have some of these in your neighborhood?

Or, I always like the ones that are timed to music…and almost inevitably they choose some Mannheim steamroller song…  Here is a pretty amazing one! (Although, I suspect his neighbors may not find it quite as “amazing” as his youtube fans do.)

Then you have the people who opt for humor … apparently, the Fire department got so many calls from concerned (and duped) passersby on this display, they finally asked the owner to take it down. 

Of course, other people tone it down and go for the simply aesthetic, classically elegant approach…I have to say this is my personal favorite when I’m driving around looking at Christmas lights.  

And finally you have those who focus on the spiritual aspects of the season by having a nativity scene in their front yard.  (Since I just told you my favorite approach was the elegant one…does that make me seem super un-spiritual if I don’t change my mind and say this is my favorite one???  Hmmm…I guess I’ll choose honesty over false spirituality.)

Anyhow, regardless your preference for light displays in your yard, the question remains, is there a downside to holiday lights?  Is there a potential for holiday lighting to take away from the real meaning of Christmas?  Or do they add something special in meaning and symbolism to the Christmas experience?

What are your thoughts? 

Check out our other Christmas Conversations:

We have 25 different “conversations” going online and we’d love to hear your thoughts!  See the list below and add your two cents when and where you can, and benefit from the collective think tank as you go!

  1. How do you keep the spirit of giving in your Cristmas shopping?
  2. How do you bring Jesus into your shopping experience?
  3. What do you think about Christmas music?
  4. What’s the worst Christmas song and why?
  5. What’s your best idea for using a Christmas movie to spark a conversation about Christ?
  6. What’s the worst Christmas movie and why?
  7. What’s the most meaningful Christmas tradition that your family has?
  8. How do you get your kids attention (or even your own) off of the gifts you get?
  9. How much is too much when it comes to giving your kids gifts for Christmas?
  10. What are your favorite service-oriented things to do during Christmas?
  11. Is Santa a naughty or nice Christmas tradition and why?
  12. What Christmas traditions have you chosen not to follow, and what have you replaced them with?
  13. If you’ve chosen to do Santa, how can you use him to point your kids to Jesus?
  14. Do lighting displays add to or detract from the real meaning of Christmas?
  15. What kinds of gifts can you give to non-Christian friends that make Jesus attractive?
  16. What are your best ideas for using Christmas to spur conversations about Jesus?
  17. Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas – Does it really matter?
  18. Should we boycott stores based on Christian principles during the Holidays?
  19. How do you deal with the Grinches in your life this Christmas?
  20. How do you deal with Christmas as a joyous family time when family is hard? 
  21. What do you know about the Biblical concept of hospitality and how do you apply that during the Christmas season?
  22. How do you find spiritual refreshment in the midst of an exhausting season?
  23. When do the excesses of Christmas cross the line from communicating the lavishness of God’s love for us to fostering excess, greed and pride?
  24. How do you respond to feeling like someone else “does Christmas better” than you?
  25. What is the most meaningful Christmas memory you have?