‘Southern Voices’ is a reader-submitted platform for stories from the heart. Today’s submission comes from within StyleBlueprint, from Liza Graves, our CEO. If you have a story to tell, see our guidelines for submission here.

The light of hope. A candle in a window. A little twinkle of a Christmas light … While we reserve our holiday lights for that time typically between Thanksgiving and New Years, they have always brought times of community and thanks.

On Twitter, some brilliant mind suggested putting up Christmas lights as it’s a way to provide joy, at a safe distance. Parents can drive their kids around to embrace the wonder of it all. The lights can simply say “We’re here for you, neighbor.”

When I saw a tweet about this, I started to tear up. I’ve been holding it in, but the thought of the city wrapped in lights, one home at a time … the ability to come together in this way, when we’re physically apart … it just filled me with hope in a deep way.

I do live in an old house, but this is not my house. This is just a stock photo. I’ll replace it as soon as my lights are up.

We are in a darkness right now. We are all filled with fear, for our health, our family’s health, our neighbor’s health. We’re worried about our jobs, our businesses, our economy. We’re worried about how this pandemic will change our society forever more.

But, one thing we can do to add light in the darkness, actual real light, is to bring out the Christmas lights. I think I may even bring down my Christmas tree and decorate with Easter eggs. I’m serious. Well, I might not do that. But, then again, I might. I need the familiar and the added warmth of tradition and I don’t even care that it’s about to be spring. I want the lights.

And, yes, the lights make me feel closer to God. I’m praying more and thinking about Christmas and Jesus’s birth during this time of Lent, with the world the way it is, I can’t help but want the physical addition of some little white lights. I can’t even go to church right now …

I’m also in Nashville, and we had a terrible tornado hit our city just two weeks ago. We rallied during the first week. But, the next week our world changed with COVID-19 fears and the economy. Now, we’re stuck in our homes and there is so much hurting in our city. I’m thinking our city really could use some Christmas lights. I bet yours could, too.

I also have some teenagers home from school with a little extra time on their hands.

I’ll pop some photos up on Instagram @styleblueprint when I’m done. Will you tag us? I’d love to add photos to this article filled with all your beautiful homes decorated with lights. We don’t need wreaths and garland. We do need lights. Maybe these will be the #coronalights2020 or #lightsforhope. We’ll find out soon enough.

Peace, Joy and Love to you all,

 

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