Shine Bright, All the Time
The editor, Out of all the years that I have been traveling as a DJ, this is my favorite time of year to be on the road. Christmas is when people decorate their homes and towns decorate to be festive and show their Christmas spirit.
Just recently I passed through several towns past midnight including Aiken and Johnston, all showing their Christmas spirit with lights and decorations glowing in the wee hours of the morning. When I got into Johnston, for a moment I was the only car around so I pulled into a parking spot on Main Street to enjoy their beautiful decorations. As I made my way home, I enjoyed seeing homes displaying their Christmas spirit, as well.
Once I arrived back home in Clinton, I thought I would drive down Broad Street and through town to enjoy our Christmas lights and decorations. What I got on my drive was disappointing. The only thing lit up was the Christmas tree on the square and the lights in the trees along the railroad tracks.
I know that I am not the only one who travels through towns this time of night or this time of year. There are a lot of people just like me passing through a town like Clinton in the wee hours of the morning. This is a great time for towns to promote their main street and Christmas spirit, as well. So why would you have most of your Christmas decorations off and not shining brightly during this short and festive time of year?
Towns have about a 30 day window to show off their decorations and their Christmas spirit, why not let it shine brightly all night and catch the attention of those passing through. They may come back and bring their friends to enjoy what they saw and shop at a local business and spend some of their money right here in town.
Before moving to Clinton I served on the City Council of McCormick for 18 years and also served as Mayor pro tem for a while so I have heard all the excuses, “Leaving the lights on causes us to use more power”, “Christmas decorations are expensive and we can’t afford to do any better right now”, and so on. True, the power usage will go up and, yes, decorations are expensive for a town just like everything else. Making your town look great at Christmas should be considered an investment in your town’s future. You have the chance to impress visitors with a visual stamp during this time of year and our residents, as well, also to separate yourself from neighboring towns and stand out from others.
Clinton SC, let your Christmas spirit shine much brighter so when people pass through they will tell others how pretty our town was. Knowing from experience, decorate it, light it up and people will come. Merry Christmas to you all.