I am so excited that we are once again doing our holiday lights contest. Press Publications launched the contest in 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. Now in 2021, and going into 2022, the pandemic is very much still here and people still need a bit of light in their lives. 

I have absolutely loved looking through all of the entries as they have come in during our nomination phase, which ended last week. Each one is unique in its own way and has a story behind it. 

Growing up, one of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions was driving to look at a light display near our home. Every year, we would hop in the car, drive to the display, tune in our radio to a specific station and watch on in amazement as the display lit up perfectly animated and timed to the songs we heard on the radio.

This year, my family and I have already participated in lots of Christmas traditions, including putting up decorations, looking at lights, baking sweets, mailing Christmas cards and visiting Santa. 

For the first time this year, I am also trying out perhaps a new tradition. Every day of December leading up to Christmas, my dogs get to try out a new treat from their “Merry Corgmas” calendar. Recently my family and I also visited a drive-thru holiday lights show that was a lot of fun

Press Publications is now gearing up for the voting period of the Holiday Lights Contest, which will run Dec. 16 through Dec. 31. From now until then, community members are encouraged to hop in the car and travel to the different displays in the north metro to see them in real life, as photos often don’t do the displays justice. 

We hope that our holiday lights contest might be a part of your family’s holiday tradition this year. Hopefully this lights contest gives you something to look forward to. Thank you to everyone who entered, and don’t forget to vote.

Over 400 votes were cast for last year’s contest, and we are hoping to break that record this year. The top three winners will receive prizes and earn bragging rights. Winners will be announced in January. 


Holiday tragedy 

Dec. 18 will mark the sixth anniversary of my father’s passing. Every year that date rolls around, it is an especially hard day for my family and me. I miss everything about him—his jokes, his laugh, his voice, his advice, his songs. Every Christmas that we celebrate without him, I can’t help but feel that void deep in my soul.

Every year when we put our Christmas tree up in the living room, dad always had his own little section of the tree where all of his best dad, sports and coffee ornaments hung as well as his (empty) ostomy bag (one of his many jokes). Perhaps his favorite ornament was a bear that sung a Christmas tune. He would play it over and over again to drive us crazy.

To this day, all of his ornaments are still placed on his spot on the tree. And that ornament that once seemed to annoy us so much, brings us peace. Now that I have my own home, I have carried on the tradition with a spot of our tree just for him.

Although the holiday season is often a joyous one for many, please remember that the holidays are really hard for some, especially in 2021. 


Shannon Granholm is the Managing Editor at Press Publications.

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