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The Magic Of Christmas

December 11, 2020

If you drive past my house in Pleasant Grove any night this month, you will see Christmas lights. Of course, there are Christmas lights all over Pleasant Grove. Mine are a little different. For one thing there is a sign with the number 89.9 FM. And the lights don’t stay on.

If you tune your car radio to 89.9 you will hear a series of Christmas songs set to the music. But, there’s one additional thing that set’s my house apart. Well, not exactly my house, my neighbor across the street. He also has a TUNE TO sign that says 89.9 FM. The lights on the two houses are synched.

Several years ago when my neighbor approached me about doing the coordinated display I told him I had one request. We had to add “Dueling Banjos” to the list of songs.

“But, Dueling Banjos isn’t a Christmas song.”

“Look, do you want my help or not?”

Dueling Banjos is now the most popular song in our lineup.

The display has evolved over the years. It now includes some LED multicolored light strips on the windows. Hundreds of lights up my porch railing. A 40′ tall tree of lights in my neighbor’s yard. All together we have over 10,000 lights.

The playlist is about 25 minutes long. My neighbor does all the programming. The thing is, if you drive by my house and don’t tune your radio, it’s just a bunch of blinking lights. It’s not even very interesting. The lights are synched to the music, but without the music, they are not particularly harmonious.

Last week my daughter came over for a little while. She brought both my oldest and my youngest grandchildren. The baby is only a few weeks old. My oldest is now six years old.

They haven’t been by since we setup the lights just after Thanksgiving.

“Mommy, why are the lights blinking?”

“Because they are supposed to go along with a Christmas song.”

“How come we can’t hear it?”

My daughter then turned on the radio to 89.9 FM.

“There, see? See how they lights blink to the music?”

They watched them for a few minutes and then decided to come inside. My daughter turned the car off and started getting the kids out of their car seats.

“Mommy how come the music stopped?”

My sweet innocent granddaughter didn’t understand that there wasn’t just a holiday soundtrack lighting up the neighborhood. It was a silly mistake, right? But, honestly, I wasn’t very excited about Christmas this year. It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.

Hearing the story of my granddaughter reminded me that it’s not really about me. We adults tend to become jaded. This year more than most. But, to children, Christmas is always magical. It was good to be reminded of that.

Stay safe and Merry Christmas.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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