The Christmas season brings many different traditions that we all love. Family traditions such as decorating the tree with strings of real popcorn and cranberry, preparing special cookies, jams or other goodies only made this time of year. Some of our traditions might even be a bit corny like the yearly ugly sweater family photo taken by the fireplace. Even if they are corny traditions, if we didn’t do them every Christmas we would sure miss it.
One of my personal favorite Christmas-time traditions is waiting until a really cold night to slip on a pair of warm gloves and a knitted beanie and then grab a hot cup of cocoa or coffee before convincing at least one of my family members to go on a drive around the neighborhood with me. Initially I get a few grumbles because they are warm and toasty in the house and think ‘baby it’s cold outside’ but eventually they give in to my annoying pestering and before you know it we all throw on our warm coats and head out to complete our holiday tradition.
We drive all over town searching for homes decorated with colorful lights, inflatable snowmen, elves, reindeer's, lit candy-canes, wooden life-size cartoon characters or any other festive decorations that people may display outside their home as one of many ways to celebrate Christmas. When we find them we roll down our window, drive by real slow and snap pictures after ooohing and aaahing over the decorations.
Interestingly enough the day after completing our mission this year, Pastor Joe Brown of Calvary shared a message that summed up the very reason why we enjoy this particular tradition of lights and decorations.
Sharing from 2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ” Brown reminded the congregation that Christmas lights and decorations are a wonderful reminder of what Christmas is really all about. The glittering Christmas décor is a symbolic reminder of the birth of Christ. The brilliant lights remind us that Jesus, the light of the world, has come and through Him we are made right and have peace with God.
Sharing a quote from C.S. Lewis “There’s always winter but never Christmas” Pastor Joe adds a simple truth – “decorations remind us that because of Jesus, Christmas is here.”
Certainly we enjoy the tradition of Santa and cookies, cocoa and gifts but if it’s not one of your traditions already, why not start this year and make a tradition out of seeing festive lights and decorations together as a family. Let the dazzling lights remind you that because of Jesus, Christmas is here.
A few nicely decorated homes in Manteca you may want to check out include:
*243 Watson Ave. (E. Yosemite Ave toward central Manteca – Left on Watson Ave.)
*283 Primrose Ave. (E. Yosemite Ave toward central Manteca – Left S. Main St. Exit– Left Pear Tree St., Left on Primrose Ave.)
*995 Desio Lane (E. Yosemite Ave toward central Manteca – Left Cottage Ave. – Left Brookdale Way – Left Sebastian Lane – Right Desio Lane)
*1014 Pestana Ave. (E. Yosemite Ave toward central Manteca – Left Cottage Ave. –Right Louise Ave. – Right Pestana Ave)
*1155 Lucio St. (E. Yosemite Ave toward central Manteca – Left Cottage Ave. – Left Brookdale Way – Right Sebastian Lane – Right Lucio St.)
*1221 Spruce Lane (E. Yosemite Ave toward central Manteca – Right N. Main St. – Left Louise Ave. – Right N. Union Rd. – Right Pepperwood – Left Spruce Lane.) Be sure to visit Santa and Saturday and walk through the beautifully decorated backyard.