Bob Tamasy: Season Of Lights

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

If there’s one certainty about the Christmas season, it’s that we’re going to see lots and lots of lights. Lights on Christmas trees. Lights on poles along streets and roadsides. Lights on houses. Neighborhoods and communities even stage competitions to see who can design the most innovative, elaborate light displays – sometimes synchronized with accompanying music.

We see lights inside blow-up snowmen and reindeer. Candles in windows. Lights everywhere we look in the malls. Sometimes even Santa Claus can be spotted with lights dangling from his outfit.

I’m a big fan of these lights. In our home we have two lighted trees, one large and one small, along with the lights from inside our Dickens Village collection of miniature houses. Bright, warm, cozy-looking. Almost enough to encourage me to engage in some light humor.

With the Tennessee River running through town, Chattanooga residents conduct an annual Festival of Lights in which boaters decorate their crafts with lights – a water parade with floats literally afloat.

My online research friend, Mr. Google, tells me the tradition of lighting Christmas trees dates back to 18th century Germany, using candles. Sometimes with sad consequences. (I think that might have been the origin of the phrase, "Don't try this at home.")

Thomas Edison used his incandescent light bulbs to provide Christmas illumination around 1880, and the Savoy Theatre in London became the first building in the world to be fully lighted for the holiday with electricity.

A couple of years later one of Edison’s associates, Edward Johnson, prepared the first electrically illuminated Christmas tree. There’s no truth to the rumor, however, that Debby Boone used that occasion to sing “You Light Up My Life” for the first time.

The point is, people have been lighting up things during the Christmas season for centuries. While the original motivation seems unclear, it likely has a practical basis, related to the fact that December in many parts of the world has the shortest days and the darkest nights. That’s enough reason to load up on festive lights.

But there’s a more profound reason for making lights central to the celebration of Christmas. In Isaiah 9:2 it states, The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Then in Matthew 2:2, the Magi who had journeyed a long distance in search of the promised Messiah asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

Later, speaking to the multitude of people that were following him, Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

So it seems altogether appropriate to celebrate the Christmas season with a wide and often amazing assortment of beautiful, colorful lights, commemorating the birth of the One who promised “the light of life.” As it sometimes appears darkness in many forms is bearing down on us from every angle, we can use all the light we can get.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus In Chattanooga On “Broadway Tour”

The Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus (KGMC) will present a concert titled “Broadway on Tour” on  Friday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m.  at Grace Episcopal Church, 20 Belvoir Ave. The concert is part of the KGMC’s regional tour to promote the acceptance of all people. The concert features musical highlights from their most recent show, “Broadway on Gay Street.” The tour also includes ... (click for more)

Mason Richardson Completes 2-Year Mission For LDS Church

Mason Richardson has completed a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Mason served in the Utah Provo mission.  He graduated from Ooltewah High School in 2015.  His future plans are to return to Utah and begin college in the fall semester at Utah Valley University.    “To sum up my two year experience in one sentence, ... (click for more)

Pedestrian Struck And Killed On Hixson Pike Saturday Night

A pedestrian was struck and killed on Saturday night on Hixson Pike. Chattanooga Police Department responded at 10:05 p.m. to a pedestrian struck at 5400 Hixson Pike.   A Ford F150 driven by Francis Lamonica, 66, was traveling north in the fast lane. The pedestrian was attempting to cross the roadway and was struck by the vehicle.   Mr. Lamonica was ... (click for more)

Aaron Biddle, 21, Shot And Killed On Basswood Drive Saturday Afternoon; Suspect Detained

Aaron Biddle, 21, was shot and killed on Saturday afternoon. The Chattanooga Police Department responded around 3:45 p.m. to the 7800 block of Basswood Drive on reports of a person who had been shot.  Upon arrival, police were able to locate the victim who had succumbed to his injuries. A suspect was detained by police immediately upon their arrival.  Investigators ... (click for more)

Conserving White Flight To Private, Public Secluded Schools Is Shameful

If you really care about the kids of Hamilton County’s most distressed schools, then you’ll take help where you can get it. The question on your mind isn’t which political label someone wears. Anyone who shifts attention away from the critical issues facing public education and toward political labels is not really committed to public education. Their support for equitable, quality ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Suckered

Just eight short days ago, Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd called a study on Hamilton’s County’s pseudo ‘socioeconomic desegregation’ farce as “the most far left, liberal document I have ever read. It does not represent the values of Hamilton County and I am insulted and disrespected by it." Then the School Board got so embarrassingly suckered  on Thursday  night ... (click for more)