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Student Columnist Elizabeth Miller reflects on the cheer a simple string of lights can bring

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I love the food, colors, decorations — the whole kit and kaboodle. But most of all I love how each year I get to gather with my family and celebrate. Family is one of the most important gifts we get in life and the holidays give us a time to fully appreciate that. COURTESY PHOTO: ELIZABETH MILLER - ELIZABETH MILLER

Unfortunately, 2020 has thrown us for yet another loop. The rise of COVID cases has caused many families — including my own — to not be able to spend time together this year. But just because we might not be able to celebrate the same way doesn't mean we can't still have a great month and show love and appreciation to those around us.

This year it is more important than ever to let others know that they are not alone. One simple and fun way to show this is by decorating your house with holiday lights. The lights not only lift people's spirits but, they also create a united community.

In an interview with USA Today Dr. Krystine Batcho discussed how holiday lights not only act as a mood elevator but how they also remind people to breathe. "Decorations are a symbol of a marker in time. Holiday decorations are a way of almost pushing the pause button in a very busy lifestyle. Who isn't busy these days?" she said.

With the hectic year that we have all had we all deserve to take a break and create positive memories with our loved ones.

Putting up lights not only promote good tidings, they additionally provide a reason for us to get outside. Constant Zoom calls and cold weather can deter one from leaving the comfort of our offices and homes. But now is the perfect time to bundle up and take a walk around your neighborhood and your neighbor's festive decorations.

If lights aren't your thing, there are so many other ways to spread cheer and show kindness this time of year. Send cards, do craft, turn on the oven and start baking. Flood life and joy into your life and the lives of those around you.

So while our holiday traditions may not all look the same this year we still have the opportunity to spread goodwill and cheer. We can show love and support to our neighbors. If we all do just a little our holidays just might be brighter than ever.

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