How Bright Lights and Dancing Penguins Reminded Me It’s Christmas

It was 2 days before Christmas and I was relaxing on my comfy lounge when my sister rang to ask if I wanted to come for a drive to see some of the Christmas lights around the neighbourhood. As a shift worker, we can sometimes forget it’s actually Christmas because more often than not – we are working throughout the festive season.

But that being said, I jumped in the car with two other friends and noticed that my sister had constructed a well thought out plan. She had printed out all of the winning entries in the annual Christmas Lights Competition and with a map of the streets in one hand, we headed off in hot pursuit to find these prize winning lights.

As we approached the street which had won ‘The Best Street in the Neighbourhood Category’ there were cars, people and children everywhere. I imagine that this is how Halloween must feel if you live in the United States. (We don’t really celebrate it here in Australia).

As we could only get so close in the car, my sister cleverly found a car park and we began our walk towards this normally quiet suburban street to see what all the fuss was about. As we approached the corner and turned to walk up the path (whilst trying to avoid tripping over any children and pets in tow), we were gob smacked. Quite literally the entire street was lit up as if there was a shining light directly above us.

The attention to detail and creativity was truly eye opening.

From the bright lights to the dancing penguins it certainly stimulated all of our senses – sight, sound and even smell (the aroma of the Aussie BBQ filled the air). There was even a couple of ‘stand in’ Santa Clauses wandering up the street – sure to confuse the child that just saw him 5 minutes earlier in front of another house.

But as were walked slowly up the street you could hear the giggles and laughter from the children and watching their faces light up as they watched all of the displays was truly priceless.

Now as shift workers we can sometimes forget its Christmas. As many of us work during this holiday season, Christmas day can sometimes feel like ‘just another day’.

But our journey across the neighbourhood last night to see the bright lights and dancing penguins certainly reminded me that it is indeed Christmas, and to be thankful and grateful for everything that I have in my life. From my friends and family, to the wonderful home that I now live in, and for our pet cat ‘Misty’ who is stretched out on the front deck watching me as I write this – I feel truly abundant and grateful to be alive.

So as a shift worker even though you might be working this Christmas, be grateful for everyone and everything that is in your life right now – and don’t forget to eat, drink and be merry!!

Have a wonderful and safe Christmas as we head towards an exciting and fun-filled year in 2010!


  1. Sniffles and Smiles

    Yes, it is easy to get caught up in work…and forget to "play!" Merry Christmas, dear friend! Another great post! ~Janine XO

  2. Alicia @ boylerpf

    What a wonderful post and so well said! When we lived in Miami, there was a street that was similar to the one you described. The best part was sitting abck and watching the childrens faces as they lit up with each scene.

    Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas full of wonderment and surprise!

  3. Matty

    It sounds like a pretty sight to see. Dancing penguins? How cute.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. Enjoy.

  4. Tracey

    A very happy Christmas to you and your family…with love from the UK. xxx

  5. Holly

    We have an area liek that here, but not nearly as elaborate as the ones we lived near in Los Angeles…or the one you described. There is nothing like those neighborhoods to relaly get you in the spirit of things.

  6. Michela

    Hi! I just wnated to say thank you for your lovely message and wish you a fabulous Christmas!

  7. inkala images

    Don't work too hard Audra! x

  8. Dutch donut girl

    May this Christmas be bright and cheerful and may the New Year begin on a prosperous note!

  9. Grandma Yellow Hair

    What a wonderful post. So glad I came by to wish you Happy Holidays!
    This was my first Christmas off in four years and it felt strange like I was doing something wrong. lol
    Enjoy my vist with you today ….Happy New Year

  10. Lynn

    hi there. Just wanted to tell you I'm hosting a mega giveaway extravaganza over in my neck of the woods. It's fuuuunn…. Come join in! :o)

    My best, Lynn


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