“Mom, let’s come back and bring her an apple pie,” 5-year-old Finley proposed as we stepped out of Marcia’s warm garden house with bellies full of hot cider and cookies. Finley’s proposition suggests that generosity is highly contagious.
Our family had never before been to Marcia Hales’ Christmas light display at her house on Park Point despite the fact that she has opened her yard to visitors for nearly two decades and was featured last year on ABC’s Great Christmas Light Fight, a national holiday light contest.
Marcia calls her display “Spirit of the Lights” and it is filled with the spirit of neighborly generosity. Not only does she allow people to stroll through her yard, she offers a bonfire and free marshmallows for roasting as well as free treats in her garden house.
What made her light displays enchanting were the fun and heart-warming details like the sign reminding us to “reflect on the joy of the season and what is good in life,” the beach behind her house where the sand was aglow with specs of green light, and the wishing penguin.
What made the experience feel magical was Marcia’s neighborly generosity. Our children saw first hand the positive impact of being open, giving, and kind to strangers.
She kindly answered every one of their questions. For example, does the wishing penguin really work? Marcia shared that a little girl reported it did because last year she wished for a dog and got one. Finley took the story to heart for when we were leaving, she gently rubbed the penguin’s head again, mouthed the word “puppy” and then looked expectantly to the right, to the left, and behind her.
While her wish didn’t instantaneously come true, she’s still a believer. In the meantime, we’ll be baking an apple pie.
Marcia’s address is 3739 S. Lake Ave. and she has a Facebook group for more info.
Have you walked through Marcia’s Spirit of the Lights? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!