ATTLEBORO – It was a Christmas winter wonderland as more than 300,000 colored lights illuminating over 10 acres. I made my way through the winding paths of twinkling lights through the hanging tree branches leading to the story of Saint Nicholas and the birth of Jesus Christ. As part of my holiday tradition every year, I was visiting the Festival of Lights at La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, Mass.
Like many families each Christmas season, my family always visited the Festival of Lights each year. I remember when I was young La Salette seemed like a vast feat to travel through, taking much of my time with the only energy source being the hot chocolate warming my gloved fingers. Each year my father would take my older brother and my twin sister and I to see the lights on Christmas Eve when my mother was busy at home preparing the house for Santa Claus to come. One year out of the sheer busyness of the holiday season, my family did not make it to the holiday display. However, when we returned the following year on Christmas Eve, La Salette was the same as it ever was, beautiful and mysterious in its holiday demeanor except for the fact that it seemed a whole lot smaller, something I think happens to everyone as they grow. At one point, I had myself thinking, “That’s it? What happened?” Even though the walk through the lights seemed shorter as I got older, La Salette still brings the feeling of Christmas and the holiday spirit to me every year. Whether it’s seeing the people pray at each step as they climbed their way toward the Lady of La Salette (which I admittedly skip out on) or reading the story of Saint Nicholas, the Festival of Lights is a great holiday tradition.
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