As a child, I vividly remember the excitement of packing into the car on Christmas Eve to drive around, taking in decorations and lights that blanketed our neighborhood. In the 90s, we didn’t have the fancy projectors that are popular today. But we still had plenty of spirit and loads of colorful lights — the gaudier, the better.

It felt like a collective holiday celebration, even if we didn’t formally know the owners of the homes we admired. We gazed out of our windows to enjoy the cheer that others worked so hard to share.

That notion of Christmas celebration at a distance has become quite familiar these days. For most of the year, we’ve had to live our lives behind glass, plastic and masks in an effort to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

But even so, the community still found a way to share the spirit of the season. From the elaborate holiday display in the Jekyll Island Historic District to the annual arrival of Santa at the St. Simons Island Pier to Christmas trees peeping out of the windows of homes, Isles’ residents — much like the Whos of Whoville — found a way to come together during a difficult time and share a little Christmas spirit. The pandemic can’t keep Christmas from coming ...

With that in mind, we’re glad to share a look back at some of the ways the community shared light, beauty and the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas.

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