The Magic of Lights

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When I was five years old, our family embarked on a Christmas trip to Mexico to spend the Christmas holiday there.  My dad and mom packed up our family of 6, with 4 kids ranging from five to ten in a camper truck and drove us down to Mexico City.  Once we were there, we stayed in a hotel in the central part of the city, and although I was only five at the time, the Christmas lights that decorated the city buildings left an impression on me I will never forget.  

On other Christmas breaks when we stayed closer to home, we would still make a point of driving around and looking at the houses that decorated for the season.  A neighbor just a few houses away from ours owned an electrical company, so their house was always lit up so that you could likely see it from a satellite orbiting the Earth.  

The tradition of Christmas lights on our house and neighbors houses is something I enjoy seeing, and it enhances the warm feelings of the holiday.  Our family has made a point of going out at least once during the Christmas holiday to drive around looking at lights in the neighborhood, and on the evening of Christmas, we have made it a tradition to go to the Zilker Park Tree to spin around underneath, and if it is cold enough, get a cup of hot cocoa.

Here are some area highlights of Christmas lights to consider going to see in the Austin area and around Central Texas:

Of course, there is the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park, and then maybe go take a spin under the Zilker Park Tree.  

Our very own neighborhood is running the Travis Country Holiday Lights Contest December 11-18. The winner receives a yard sign declaring their holiday spirit and a Home Depot gift card. If you find yourself truly in the holiday spirit this year, sign up to help judge the holiday lights.

The annual Holiday Light Show at Mozart’s Coffee on Lake Austin. The show begins at 6:00 p.m., replaying every hour, at the top of the hour. The 12-minute-long show is free, fun, and family friendly.

Venture a little further out of Austin to Buda where they have their own Buda Trail of Lights at Historic Stagecoach Park for two consecutive weekends in mid-December.  Johnson City has the “Lights Spectacular” starting the Friday after Thanksgiving through Christmas.  It kicks off with a “Lights Spectacular” Parade Thanksgiving weekend.  

North of Austin there is lots to see and do in Georgetown during the holiday season.  Williamson County does a Courthouse Square Lighting on November 25th with Christmas carolers and hot cocoa as an added treat for the evening.  

No matter where you go to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season, it is a wonderful time to slow down and reflect on peace and the true meaning of Christmas.  It is easy to get caught up in the commercial aspect of the holiday, but having a Merry Christmas starts from within as to giving the gift of your time, treasure and talent to those who need it the most.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!