HOLMBERG: Why all the lights this time of year?

Posted at 12:33 AM, Dec 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-26 14:51:50-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- It’s quite interesting, if you think about it. We typically use lights for illumination, or for giving us direction.

Christmas and other holiday lights are strictly for decoration, for celebration, for worship, even.

Of course there’s a long history.

Electric Christmas lights go back to 1880 or so, when Thomas Edison reportedly fired some up for a publicity stunt of sorts.

But the winter lighting tradition goes back at least some 800 years, with the Germans and their burning of their huge yule logs, a rite to dispel the gloom of these shortest days and long, cold nights.

Nearly 500 years ago, the influential monk Martin Luther reportedly had a hand in bringing the twinkle to Christmas celebrations, back then by candlelight.

Lights symbolize life, or course.

It’s why crime prevention experts tell you to keep things looking bright around your home or business.

It’s kind of funny how lights affect us. A few alone make light. But many working together can make something really special.

It’s easy to forget that each one of us is a light – a light that will only burn for so long.

How brightly – that’s up to us.

We visited with two Richmond women on Christmas Day who have special lights every year. You can hear what they have to say in this video report.

May you shine long and strong!