Christmases Past (and future)

So I’ve been really really good this year. (Okay, maybe only one ‘really.’) And since it is my first Christmas with Oz, I feel like it is rather special.  He already received his Christmas present…I bought us tickets to go see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. They were floor seats (like I said, I’ve been really good this year).  But I also gave him another gift this year.  I helped put up his Christmas lights.

I’m pretty decent with a strand of lights.  I usually diagram and drape the Christmas lights at home.  But with Oz, it is more than just draping lights.  It’s displaying with flair.  Or as he put it, it is “return power to the Emerald City.”  This is more than just putting a few strands up.  Because Oz doesn’t just put up Christmas lights, he puts up over 25,000 bulbs and programs them to play to music. It is pretty impressive. He says he does it because it makes people smile. He even has a donation box, with 100% of the proceeds to JDRF and to breast cancer research.  He has said that next year, he’ll add a third organization to the list: fibromyalgia research. It’s entirely unnecessary, and the thought of mattering that much was enough for me.  But he insists.

This endeavor usually starts early October. But this year he got a late start (like mid-November late).  Honestly, when Oz told me he was going to do his lights this year, I was worried.  I was concerned that I’d get lost in the shuffle.  Oz takes on too many tasks sometimes, and that would mean I’d be watching the lights wishing I was with him, like I have in a Christmas past.   But my friend Red changed my perspective, stating, “Just think how bright your Christmas will be this year.”

And she was so incredibly right!  The first time I watched the lights this year was with Oz.  I actually spent as much time watching Oz as I did the lights.  As I watched his face glow in the warmth of his many electric dancing lights, I could almost feel the current run through me. I couldn’t help but smile. The only thing brighter than all those blinking bulbs was the light in his eyes.  We got out of the car and ran through the lights. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t hear the music any more.  He spun me around and for a moment it felt like I was swimming among the stars. And I laughed. I felt my heart swell with holiday cheer and wonder at the pure improbability of everything happening in that solitary moment.

Then briefly I was tapped on the shoulder by the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.  Everything blurred and I saw us in the future, dancing with dancing lights.  A different house, each gable adorned with lights.  Big trees cloaked in lights. A long driveway with cars full of visitors parked to watch the display.  And the same hand in mine.

Just as quickly I reeled back into the present.  I grabbed Oz’s hand with both of mine and said, “Let’s do this.”

He looked pleasantly confused.

“I never want another Christmas without lights like this. So let’s do this. Every year.”

He smiled and squeezed my hand. “Tradition.”

And I smiled at the thought of my bright and merry Christmases to come.

Enjoy, and may you dance in the glow of Christmas lights this season!

ps. This is his Christmas display from 2010. His video quality and programming has improved each year!

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