I put up Christmas lights all along the front of my house the weekend before Thanksgiving. It took all afternoon, but when I was done, I could see how the holiday glow brightened our little part of the street.
Each day since then, it has been lots of fun to watch the lights come on as the sun sets. I went outside the other day with a cup of hot cocoa and just enjoyed the colorful lights that remind me of what a magical time of year this is.
One of the neighbors stopped by and joined me for the brief watch party that evening.
He quickly pointed out that one of the lightbulbs was not shining. He was right. How did I miss that?
Oh well, I figured that I could just get the ladder and change it sometime during the upcoming weekend. It didn’t seem urgent.
The next night I was taking the garbage to the curb, and another neighbor was out walking her dog. She stopped and chatted with me for a few minutes.
She admired the lights on my home. She also drew my attention to the lightbulb that was not working. She assured me that it would be easy to correct the problem.
Over the next few days, three more people let me know about the lightbulb that was lacking in luminosity. This was becoming quite a thing.
This year, I used the extra-large lightbulbs, so there were only 50 of them on the façade of the house. When I’ve decorated in the past with the small bulbs, there usually are hundreds of them. That’s probably why the unlit bulb has been more noticeable this year.
However, I finally decided not to get up there and replace that bulb. It wasn’t because of procrastination. It wasn’t that I was lazy. It was something else.
As the days passed, I began to like the display just as it is. It’s not perfect, but neither am I – or any of us. That gap in my lights is different. And I like different.
Besides, we are all trying to stand out in life. No one wants to be the same as everyone else. We strive to be unique in the clothes we wear, the car we drive, and the resume we create.
I found it fascinating that all these folks seemingly want me to fix what makes my Christmas light decorations different.
We spend so much of our lives trying to make things flawless that we forget or never truly understand that those imperfections are the best part of every day.
Michael Strahan’s gap-toothed smile, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Grumpy Cat. They are all endearing to us because they are different.
These people have given me a wonderful gift. They have let me know how beautiful life is with all its imperfections, even if they weren’t recognizing that’s what they were doing.
A Christmas lightbulb that wouldn’t shine has illuminated my life more than anything else this festive season. It doesn’t get any more brilliant than that.
I hope you have an amazing and healthy holiday season and take the time to embrace all that’s different in our world. It’s what makes our lives so beautiful. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
This article is brought to you by that guy with the soft glow of a Christmas candle. That guy, with all his imperfections, is Ron Blake, and you can see him perfectly well at [email protected].