Christmas Spirit

While the Christmas season is supposed to be a time of peace and joy, we all know it often becomes several weeks of stress. Rushing around in traffic, navigating crowded stores, standing in long checkout lines with other stressed out shoppers and clerks can make it hard to remember the true meaning of the season.

However, there are ways to combat the stress of the season. Exercise, as always, is a good stress reliever at any time of the year. And going to church can help us remember what Christmas is about.

But an excellent way to not only relieve stress, but also to see the beauty of the year is to take a drive on just about any Mid-Ohio Valley neighborhood street during December. The lighting displays at many homes, businesses and schools in the area are beautiful, and bring home the magic of the season in a special way.

The Winter Festival of Lights, at Wheeling’s Oglebay Park, brings in thousands of visitors every Christmas season, and is, deservedly, one of the most famous light displays in this region. While nothing in the area is of that scale, there are plenty of places to enjoy the displays here. Both City Park and Southwood Park offer beautiful light displays. And second to none is Civitan Park in Belpre. Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg South High School are decked out in lights and make it a pleasure to drive by in the evening.

And many private residences have spent hundreds of dollars and are willing to risk the mindless vandalism that always seems to be a part of the season to decorate their homes for Christmas.

Yes, the Christmas season can be hectic and stressful. But it is also beautiful, in large part because of the light displays at so many locations around the area. We hope everyone will take at least one evening this month to see this holiday splendor before it gets put away for another year.