By Chea Waters Evans, News Editor

First, I got a text from my friend and colleague Elizabeth Langfeldt floating the idea of organizing some kind of Charlotte holiday light tour. The next day, I got a text from my friend Carrie Spear suggesting the same thing. A few days later, Governor Phil Scott suggested all of Vermont deck the heck out of their halls. And then my friend Kendra Bowen emailed me asking how we could organize a Charlotte version together. Clearly, the spirit is in the air this year, and an idea was born: the Charlotte Holiday Lights Roll.

It’s easy to participate.

Charlotte holiday trees are beautiful every year, like this one at the Nurczynski’s house on Guinea Road. The goal for this year is to kick things up a notch all over town. Photo by Chea Waters Evans

Charlotte holiday trees are beautiful every year, like this one at the Nurczynski’s house on Guinea Road. The goal for this year is to kick things up a notch all over town. Photo by Chea Waters Evans.

Step One: Decorate your house, or ask to borrow your friend’s house, or collaborate with a neighbor, and make it nice for the holidays. You can go full Griswold and bedazzle until the circuits blow, or you can do a nice tasteful ribbon on a lamp post and call it a night.

Step Two: Get online and add your address to the Charlotte Holiday Lights Roll list. This community document is easy to navigate even if you’re not the most computer savvy. Just go to the Charlotte Holiday Lights Roll Facebook page for the link to the Google map.

You can add your address whenever you’re ready, check back to see who else is on the list, and drive around and look at all the pretty festive houses when you’re in the mood. (I noticed that a lot of families have already gone over the top this year, and it’s not even a week after Thanksgiving!)

Step Three (optional): On Monday, Dec. 21, the shortest and darkest day of the year, let’s bring some light to the darkness. Leave baskets of candy canes at the end of your driveway, dress up and act out a human creche, (at your own risk) stand on your roof dressed like Santa, or sing carols. When you figure out what you want to do that night, if anything, add that to your Google map listing. From 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 21, dress in your pajamas, put the kids in theirs, crank up the heat in your car, bring cocoa to go, and drive around the route laid out on the Google map.

This is all voluntary, of course, and you can participate a little or a lot—all that matters is that we’re together, even if we’re just driving by and waving in the dark on a night full of light.