Enjoy magic of the season

Published 7:24 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018

They are the signs of the season, those brightly colored lights and displays in the front yards of homes and in front of businesses across the city.

From the inflatable characters filling the yard of a home on Washington Street to the simple decoration of multi-colored lights outlining the porch of a home somewhere in the city, the decorations all herald one of the most festive and beautiful times of the year.

The Christmas season has always been celebrated and observed by bright colors, candles and song. For some churches it is the hanging of the green, where evergreens are placed in the church. For a business, it is the sashes, ornaments and trees with lights that decorate their walls and floors.

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It’s interesting to see the changes in decorations over the years, and in some ways, I miss the decorations I saw during my childhood. There were always the lights, but I can remember other things like displays that adorned the local department stores.

Growing up in Baton Rouge, one of the thrills of Christmas was going to what was then a thriving downtown business district and looking at the store windows with their array of lights and figures. I remember looking with awe at the moveable figures, the elves in Santa’s workshop hammering a wagon or decorating a car or a train, or putting the finishing touches on a doll.

There was the Santa at Godchaux’s who sat in his special elevated home and greeted all passersby with a hearty “ho-ho-ho.” The displays in front of the Holsum bakery. My parents would bundle me, my brother and sister up and go look at these decorations and the yard decorations at different subdivisions in town.

And there was the Christmas parade, where Santa made his first visit to town.

When my daughter was little we did the same thing — going to the parade and to what were then more affluent subdivisions in Baton Rouge where the residents went all out to give the luster of daylight at night to highlight their decorations.

It goes without saying that things have changed since my youth and may daughter’s. Gone are the window displays as the large department stores have moved from the big stores downtown and the open shopping centers in the malls, where the opportunities for big interesting window displays have gone.

I miss those days, when the magic was there for anyone passing by could see.

But I must admit the magic isn’t totally gone. All I have to do is take a drive through the city and look at the variety of decorations that are displayed in yards.

That is Christmas magic; the kind that comes once a year when people decide to celebrate by beautifying their homes for all to see, and it’s a sign that regardless of what’s going on in the world there is one time when we put our worries aside and think of beauty and of the miracle that happened Dec. 25 more than 2,000 years ago.

John Surratt is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at john.surratt@vicksburgpost.com.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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