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Why We (Should) All Do This...


Ryan Johnson

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Why do I do this every year?" I ask my self that a lot every November as the "lights on" date approaches. Had something amazing happen today that answers that for me...

There's a young lady who lives in our subdivision with her mother. She's had significant scary things happen to her in her life and so she is terrified to go out of the house. Yet every night, every single night, she's here with her mom to watch the lights. I was outside this morning putting up lights, fixing broken strings, and wondering for the 10,000th time "why do I do this every year". As I'm working her mother pulls up and gets out and approaches me. She tells me who she is and I tell her I know her daughter and appreciate her coming by all the time. She tells me some of the details of her daughter's life that I certainly didn't know and then tells me "this is her joy all season and all year. It means so much that you do this." They're moving up to the DFW area soon and she tells me "she knows we're moving but it hasn't hit her that she won't see this anymore after this year." Sort of choked me up and I told her how much it means for her to come tell me that. I told her that I have a lot of friends on Lone Star Holidays that live in that area and that I'd give her some addresses to see other big displays. They're moving just outside of Frisco and I told them to let me know when and I'll get her in touch with the guy behind the amazing Frisco Town Square display (Jeff Trykoski).

This hobby is a lot of work, time and money. Things have changed in our lives as the girls (and we!) get older and I can say that my obsession with Christmas lights has waned over the last 3-4 years. I love them, don't get me wrong, but I don't love the work (and believe it or not I really used to!). Then things like this happen and I realize how much what we do touches pepole. If no one else comes by this year I know that our biggest fan will be out there in her car, feeling safe, and beaming at our display. I still don't love the work but I know now why I do it: because it's important to some people and they wait for it all year. That's a humbling thing.

It's not about pixels, technology, incandescent, commerical vs DIY, the Academy, LSH, the Great Christmas Light Fight, or the people who want to be "famous" in our holiday community. Really it's not even about your religious beliefs or lack thereof. It certainly isn't about political races/debate, terrorism, marriage equality or racial divides. It's about the people we touch, most of which we never hear from. As you bask in your glory of being "the best display" remember that. We all forget it sometimes, myself included.

Ok... have to wipe my eyes out and get back to work. A lovely young lady is waiting to see this all turn on.

-Ryan Johnson

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Have her also look up Christmas Light finder. A lot of displays in that area are listed on their site.

She knows all about Lone Star Holidays. That's where she'll find the most active decorators in the area. Christmas Light Finder is a great resource as well although on a more global level. I point people there whenever people tell me they're traveling during the holidays.

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Yes, a tear started to form.  You're absolutely right.  Its all about the joy we bring to people.  If just for a few moments while they are watching they forget about their and the worlds problems, it was/is worth it.

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Thanks for sharing. If we can lift up a few people during the holidays, we've made the world a better place.

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That's how I see it too. If I, we or anyone, can bring a bit more Christmas spirit to anyone, then all the work was well worth it. I would be honored to have a story like yours and I know you feel that way.

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Thanks Ryan. A very good story that inspires as much as your lights. I skipped last year. It was not an easy decision to make and regretted it all last December. Guy down the road came by to help this year. Said he was helping cause of the joy it brings his family and others to see the lights.

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