2018-01-10 / Editorial

More lights

To the editor:

The Christmas decorations that the City of Roxboro puts up each year delight me. Unlike what I see in other towns, the ornaments here are different on each light pole. The variety of colors and shapes stays refreshing, and I enjoy the display through the weeks it remains.

This season, I was sorry to see a city crew removing all the lights just a few days after Christmas Day. My reaction was not unique. I heard that some of the workers themselves thought it was too early.

I can understand that there may be good reasons for the city to dismantle everything so soon. Perhaps the cost of keeping them lit is a burden, or scheduling conflicts required an early takedown. Even so, good reasons abound to argue that the city keep the display into January every year.

The disappointment people felt at seeing the lights go away so quickly suggests the simplest reason: the display is so cheerful. Sure the snowflakes and the garlands aren’t bright enough to treat the Season Affective Disorder that depresses some people every year. However, during this time of darker days and barer trees, enjoying another week to two of colors and lights could help more than a few people beat the winter blues.

Of course, there is also the plain After-Christmas blues, weeks of exciting build up followed by a deflating poof by mid-day on Dec. 25th. Why not extend some of the delight and magic a little bit longer by keeping the downtown decorations?

Now, I am not one of those people who listens to Christmas music all through the year. Further, an advertising season starting in October wearies me. However, what about the real 12 days of Christmas? In secular and Christian traditions, Christmas Day is the first day of Christmas. Even more follow, building to Old Christmas on Jan. 6, which some people still celebrate with food and fun.

There lies my specific request. Could you please leave some city decorations up until the end of the first week of January?

Now, if city leaders want to go all in, here is a reason to hold off even longer. As Western Christmas winds down, Russian and Greek Orthodox, as well as Middle Eastern Christians begin Christmas Day on Jan. 7, also day one of 12.

This tradition is closer to our city than you might think. In my high school math class a couple of years ago, on Jan. 6th, a girl handed me a small box of homemade decorated cookies. Familiar with how her family had arrived in Roxboro from Egypt that year fleeing Coptic Christians, I greet her present with a warm “Merry Christmas.” Naturally, she was absent the next day to participate in her family’s celebration.

What do you think? A second 12 Days of Christmas? And Roxboro City holiday lights until Jan. 19th?

David Hardt


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