The Lights of Christmas 2013 – a blessing in many ways

“Beautiful” “Inspiring” “Amazing” – these are words people use to describe The Lights of Christmas. The 2013 season was one of our best ever. With four fewer nights than the year before, we had better overall attendance than 2012 and the second highest year ever with over 63,000 people. Our largest night was our closing night, a “Pay What You Can” night, with 7,000 guests – a fitting conclusion to an amazing season.

People came, literally, from around the world. We met people from Europe and Asia who came to the Puget Sound area in December particularly for The Lights of Christmas. Guests came from up and down the west coast of the US and Canada with the largest number from within an hour’s drive away.

The commitment level of our volunteers has never been higher. Each night over one hundred volunteers rose up to help with parking, greeting, ticket selling, security, hosting, costume characters, and a host of other jobs. Several people worked all or most of the nights! We are so grateful for our volunteers. Truly, The Lights of Christmas is a community effort.

One of the more touching things the staff and volunteers have the privilege of doing is praying over the many prayer requests that are placed in the Prayer Chapel’s “Prayer Box.” Reading those requests gives you a deep sense of the depth of need residing in the hearts of many who come. One heart-stirring request was from a child simply asking for a “Daddy.” In this world where you hardly hear the words “Merry Christmas,” here is a place where hundreds of people ask complete strangers to lift up the deepest needs of their souls to God. There is no better picture of God’s Kingdom becoming visible than when beauty and wonder attract and serve to open one’s heart to hope.

The Christmas celebration is over for another year. But we pray that the work of God in people’s hearts and lives will continue on through eternity.

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