It’s That Time of the Year Again!
This year the holidays look very different between the COVID-19 outbreaks, the election, the protests, and the lockdowns. However, no matter how different your celebration looks this year, one tradition still stands. Christmas decorations! For years people everywhere have been decorating their homes’ exteriors, spreading holiday cheer around the community. Due to years of tradition, cultures from Jewish to Pagan have formed unique ways to decorate and celebrate this special time of year.
This year, to keep up the Christmas and holiday spirit, a float full of lights circled around the Cerritos area. With Santa on the float, young children and adults alike got the opportunity to wave and see Santa. Therefore bringing families out of their houses to wave and see their neighbors and Santa-while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
Jonathan Barcelos, a teenager in the Cerritos area, watched the float from his front lawn, he felt that, “The Santa float that paraded through Artesia and Cerritos was a fun sight that filled whomever saw it with a sense of hope and Christmas spirit during these hard times.”
Not only was there a float in Cerritos, but during the day the float paraded around the Artesia area as well. Matthew Hernandez, a third-grader in the Artesia area said, “I thought that I was already in the Christmas spirit and it felt like having Santa go around our city helped put me in the spirit even more. I thought it was funny because the police in the front were like Santa’s reindeer.” From ages five to thirteen, everyone felt like having Santa come around helped kick-start the holiday cheer.
In the mid-20th century, people started to lay strings of Christmas lights to decorate their trees, and in the 1960s, Christmas lights were added to the exterior of the homes as well. Now, Christmas lights symbolize the stars that light up in the night sky and light a path to follow, while representing cheer and the hope that better times are to come.
People not only decorate their homes for Christmas but for Haunakah and Diwali as well. Blue and white lights are often seen lighting up homes for Haunakah, and strings of floral arrangements and lights shown frequently during Diwali, an Indian tradition. In the Philippines people traditionally decorate their homes with Christmas stars or paról, which represent David’s star that guided the Kings to Bethlehem. In Sweden, people decorate their homes with the Yule Goat dating back to the old Pagan traditions. In Denmark, people decorate their homes with superstitious characters to provide protection against evil spirits. Regardless of the culture, you celebrate or if you’re decorating for Christmas with lights or stars, or with a strand of blue lights, it is the most special time of the year.