Christmas lights are a shining example of community

Is it just me or does Christmas always bring out the nostalgia in people?

It could be that pure, unadulterated excitement of going to sleep on Christmas Eve knowing that Santa would be arriving silently and mysteriously in the night, celebrating the day with loved ones, remembering those who are no longer with us, or hearing a favourite carol on the radio.

For me, it’s walking the streets in my neighbourhood, looking up in awe at all the beautifully lit houses, the spirit of the season illuminating the night.

As a Novocastrian, the best house in town to visit was always Gracelands, a spectacular home lit up with over 60,000 lights that thousands would flock to each December.

The amount of time, effort and pride that goes into this gesture is always awe inspiring.

Now that I’m having a child of my own, yuletide traditions are something I want to impart on my family and decorating the house with lights is at the top of the list.

To be able to pass on the excitement of creating a scene of warmth and beauty with a young child is important to me.

Our home isn’t as lit up as the Griswold’s, but colourful lights lining the windows and an LED Rudolph in the front yard definitely makes for some Christmas cheer.

Most of the neighbours decorate their homes too and it’s heart-warming watching families walk the street with their little ones, who look up at the lights the same way I did all those years ago.

It’s a very positive and optimistic coming together for our communities.

This year I’ve entered into a Christmas Lights photo competition on

It’s amazing to see not only my house featured on the site, but to be able to find out which of my neighbours are also taking part, so I can stroll the streets with family once more.

Renee Dube from