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After over an hour’s traffic crawl on two-lane back roads, we crested a hill and saw the village below us. Festive lighting, covering acres, was joy in the darkness. To me, it has always been the hope and defiance of lighting a candle in the darkness that fuels my love of Christmas lights. Hope, joy and a belief in miracles is shared among us, Christmas lights, Chanukah candles, Diwali.

These lights, in this darkness, are a riot of color reflected in a farm lake. As we continued our slow creep downhill, we merged with an equally slow line coming down the hill opposite of us. All this was complicated by exiting cars ignoring the right turn only sign. We felt bad for the neighbors because they would have to plan their time either leaving the house by 4 and staying gone until 11 or sheltering in place. We also wondered how cars full of kids handled the slow progress. How many melt downs and turn arounds marked each night?

Once parked, the cash line in moved quickly and we made a bee line for the rest rooms. The Koziar family started their lighting in 1948 and because the family so enjoyed it, each year more decorations were added. First the house, then the barn, then displays caused people to start driving out to see the what became the Christmas Village. At first, visitors simply pulled over and parked, partly on the road and partly in the field. Eventually they became too many and the family bought a lot for parking.

The display is a delightful mix of the old and the new decorations. Old toys and dolls inhabit the little village stores and houses, contrasting with the new LED tree and ten-foot lighted penguins. Once inside, the visitors are at their leisure to walk around all the displays. We laughed and enjoyed the old-timey plywood cut out figures and scratched our heads at the Christmas Brachiosaurus.

The night was a cold one, below freezing, and although we dressed for it, the few heated shops were welcome, especially the ones with hot chocolate. Strolling about on a cold, December night, sipping hot chocolate with family, the darkness was truly well lighted.

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