This is the 12th consecutive year of the display. In those 12 years, we are starting to reach multiple generations within families who visit. It is hard to imagine that kids that were six years old when they first saw the display are now 18 and perhaps returning home from their first year in college. Those that were teenagers when they first saw the display in 2002 are now bringing their own children and parents who first brought their own kids to see the display, are now bringing their grandchildren. (All of a sudden, I feel very old 🙂 ) I am certain all of these returning visitors Believe.
For me, there are two groups of visitors that I am happy the display has touched. These two groups while very different in some ways, are also very similar. Children with special needs – like autism or Downs Syndrome, and elderly adults that are suffering from Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia. In both cases, there is something magical about the music and light combination that strikes a chord with them and I know they Believe. For the kids, they are innocent and simply don’t know how not to Believe. For the adults, I think it helps them remember they did Believe at some point in their life. I was lucky enough to witness this with my own father, who before his death at the age of 92, suffered with a form of dementia. He was able to visit on many Christmas Eves and sit in our living room and enjoy the lights throughout the evening. His last years were spent in an assisted living home but his viewing continued though as the home would drive a small bus load of residents to the display every December. I know he Believed.
Give yourself the opportunity to escape for a few minutes, enjoy the music, enjoy the lights and I am willing to bet, you will Believe too.
Don’t forget, there will be a supply of “I Believe Bells” available through Christmas night for anybody that Believes.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!