Holiday Lights and Illuminated Joy

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, there’s one thing we can all get behind, especially if you have kids: lights. The magic they hold as they glitter, gleam, and sparkle across the room or across the sky. Captivating the littles like no other, no matter how old you are. In truth, “from 1 to 92.”

Now, although many of us can get behind the #ReasonForTheSeason right now, shouldn’t we be focusing on gratitude year round? Not just in the months of November and December? In fact, the gratitude wraps up the last months of the year like the bow on a material gift that’ll manifest its way into the closet. Only to be pulled back out and donated the following holiday. 

But lights, on the other hand — lights are magical. The illuminated joy across the faces of your littles is only matched by the finest of your own childhood memories (should you be lucky enough to have had some).

We started our traditions last year by visiting the Magic of Lights at Gillette Stadium. On a whim, we happened to grab midweek tickets and made the trek on an “off night” for the “on season.” She was glued to the sides of her car seat, and although the car was only going at a snail’s pace, the joy was palpable. Looking out the window, then back at me, then back at the window, the neon reflected in her eyes and across her toothless grin. There was a radio station you could tune in to, but we ended up blasting our own tunes, lighting up the night with our own family sing-a-longs certainly sung out of key. And we probably created new ones too.

This is one of the only times I didn’t have my camera in my hands. One of the only times I remembered to be present (capturing a few moments, of course, with that “presence” being the biggest gift of all).

Back at home, we decided to keep the lights up year round. It’s something you may have done in your youth, or on your balcony, and many of us outgrow it. But as I exclaimed the other day in a heated debate most likely heard around the city, “Why wouldn’t you put up Christmas decorations early?! Why on earth wouldn’t you prolong JOY!?” My daughter certainly echoes my sentiments, incredulously exclaiming an exaggerated “ooooooh” every time we plug those lights in.

So that begs the question: Why on earth wouldn’t we prolong that joy? Not just hers, but ours. Not just now, but year round.

So put up your lights, whenever and wherever feels right. Be present in the presence of your loved ones and yourself. Start some traditions, capture a few moments, and for goodness’ sake, create some memories that will last in your heart.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Amber has lived in the Boston area (currently Cambridge) for double digits now. In previous years she spent her time commuting for auditions and SAG-AFTRA work between New York City and Boston. As of May 2020, she is mom to her daughter, with her long-time boyfriend, and their crazy and cuddly cats — a brother-sister duo named Helios and Selene, respectively. Constantly on the lookout for "ways to elevate her every day," and yours, too, she recently completed her yoga teacher training as she finds it important to find and create movement every day. Which is easy enough, with her love for and household full of music, from Biggie to Beethoven to Billie Holiday and beyond. Always keeping an eye out for creative adventures in and around New England, Amber will jump at any chance to visit the local farms to visit the goats and simply be outdoors. Otherwise, she's often found by the window, calligraphy pen in hand, practicing her favorite craft. After enjoying a hiatus from the restaurant and hospitality industry while being a SAHM mom, Amber is currently working — and learning — in the world of tech. Amber will always hype: brunch and simply ALL food, dancing — the sillier the better, travel and any chance to be at the beach. You can miss her with: cold wet weather (even though she was born in January?!) and horror movies. Look for more thoughts and musings from Amber at www.AmberMichele.com.

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