Lighting Up The Holidays


Frank D'Amato

Festive holiday boat show at East Lake Village.

Katherine Ortiz, Photojournalist

Across the country, people celebrate many different holidays. People from all different backgrounds and cultures come together for exciting holiday activities that enliven spirits throughout this season. They celebrate by baking, by singing holiday songs, or by decorating their houses, some more than others.

Many people are culprits of extreme house decorating that catches the eyes of many. Thousands of lights and decorations overtake houses and epitomize the Christmas spirit. For most, it is a Christmas tradition to drive around their town and witness all of the beautiful lights displayed in many neighborhoods. Festive music often accompanies these intricately placed lights.

Christmas decorations date back to the 17th century and have persisted as an essential part of the holiday season. Outdoor Christmas lights originated from candles placed around the home and on Christmas trees. In 1880, Thomas Edison introduced the first outdoor electric Christmas light display to the world. His lights became mass-produced and spread to almost every home in America. Christmas lights of the present day have come a long way. What was once candles are now lights with energy-efficient bulbs, helping reduce carbon emissions.

These decorations bring joy to even more people through broad media coverage. “The Great Christmas Light Fight” is a show dedicated to these striking Christmas decorations, where people from around the country compete with their extreme home decorations. One contestant used over 400,000 lights to decorate his house, striving to win this competition and prove to obtain the title for the best holiday cheer. While these contestants are partially driven by hopes of winning a cash prize and obtaining the Light Fight trophy, the most important reward is the recognition that their home is the most spirited and decorated house in America.

In our home town of Yorba Linda, many people come together to watch the Holiday of Lights boat parade. This parade includes almost 200 houses and boats decorated in honor of the holidays. Many people sit out on the grass and watch the mesmerizing lights reflect off of the mirror-like surface of the water as they sip on their delicious hot cocoa. Rylan Gass (11), a regular of the annual show, watched the Holiday of Lights boat parade and “was stunned as [she] watched the decorated boats go by.”

The holidays are a time for friends and family to come together and celebrate their beliefs. Viewing Christmas lights is just one of the many traditions that make the holidays more cheerful for all.