A Mom's Candid Thoughts As She Takes Her Family To Look At Christmas Lights

by Amanda Regas
A mom in a car with her kid surrounded by Christmas lights that are reflecting on her car’s windshie...
Scary Mommy, Westend61/Getty and

The night after Thanksgiving we decided to check out Christmas lights. The location was 45 minutes away but drew us in with its unique setting: four million lights placed along a two-mile path through a park.

What you are about to read is the story of our two hour and 45-minute voyage, just to start that two-mile path. It is a tale of struggle and survival, and ultimately overcoming insurmountable odds to experience the magic of Christmas. As narrated in my head.

Man, it took 45 minutes to get here! But that’s totally fine. The memory will be worth it. First Christmas outing of the season! Going to be awesome. I guess we just sit in this line for a minute. Turning on Christmas music. Yay!

We have been waiting for quite a while now. None of these cars are moving. It’s fine. I have pretzels. I’ll pull them out if this takes much longer

Passing the time by playing “Guess the Character.” My six-year-old just gave clues to describe Dumbo by saying, “He’s a boy. He has a very long front tail,” and I was able to restrain myself from giggling. I handled it like a boss. (That’s what she said.)

Mother. It just dawned on me that porta-potties line this road. They knew about the waiting. Dear God. They knew. What have we done?

Evie has cried, laughed, whined and cried again. All within the last minute.

We live here now. It’s fine. We will combine Christmas cards and change of address cards. It’s cute when people do that.

The tone in the car keeps vacillating between joy and Hunger Games.

To use this time wisely, I have mentally devised the perfect house staff. Tony Macelli as our nanny, friend, and confidant, Sookie St. James for the chef, Mr. Belvedere as our butler.

Our driver: David Hasselhoff and the Knight Rider car, KITT.

My family has begun turning on one another. As matriarch, I remain steadfast. I will now role model a positive attitude amidst the negativity.

It will be a cold day in hell before I tell these fools about the pretzels I’m packing.

If one more version of Jingle Bell Rock comes on, as God is my witness, I will lob this iPhone and its Christmas Pandora station straight at that Snoopy inflatable.

Mary gave birth in a barn without an epidural after traversing afar on a donkey while in labor. I can wait in this line. Right? Ugh.

I hate Santa.

My husband just pointed at one lit up house in an otherwise empty subdivision and tried to convince the girls it was the light show. I swear I saw them considering the option of going along with his deception.


I have started choosing people to do life with if we need to form alliances.

My picks:

1: Cargo Van family is my top choice because I am imagining the Von Trapps. The Von Trapps can make a fun song out of everyday occurrences and clothes out of anything. They can also escape their enemies swiftly. This family will make us all matching alliance bandanas from their car seat fabric.

2: The Christmas group traveling in the Hummer limo because I am not that strong, so I will need a place to rest while the others do whatever happens in an alliance. Plus it probably has a fridge with snacks. No alliance is complete without snacks.

3: The bearded guy in the car with the smashed-up side. We are going to need that kind of grit.

Santa Baby is on. Again. We get it. You’re seductive.

Common law marriage has now kicked in for anyone sitting in this line who brought a date.

Police lights are coming up behind us! A rescue effort! It’s a Christmas miracle!

The worst has happened. It turns out the police came to create a second lane. People who have not been waiting at all are being allowed to merge in and form a new line. This act has defeated and shattered my husband. Rocked him to his core. He can only whisper, “This doesn’t make any sense. None of it makes sense.”

Christmas music hurts my feelings. Everything is hard. I miss my old life.

This line is moving! Our cars are moving! Sweet mother of all that is holy and pure. We are moving! I will never take not being in line for granted again. I am going to start living my life differently. More generously. You never know when you will be stuck in standstill traffic. We must live every day like this might happen again.

Aw, man, these lights are beautiful. Just look at our happy kids. All four of us will always remember the quality family time we set aside tonight to foster family bonding. We nailed this. I love this family. Christmas is the best.

We are so doing this again next year.

And that, my friends, is what the holidays are all about. A combo of pain and deep joy. And enough amnesia to allow us to do it all over again each year.