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CHICAGO — The city is aglow with lights as Chicagoans prepare for Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s.
Photographers Carly Behm and Colin Boyle visited more than a dozen spots across Chicago to document the beautiful ways people have decorated their blocks for the holidays.
Photos from around Chicago:
Husband and wife duo Eric and Cheirlynl Mendoza worked together with a neighbor to put up arches of twinkling lights in the 4800 block of West Pensacola Avenue in Portage Park.
Eric Mendoza said the block is “very neighborhood-oriented” and residents help each other out, especially when snow piles up in the winter. Cheirlyn Mendoza said she enjoys watching passersby linger by the display.
“It’s nice because we’re attracting more people just coming through and walking,” she said. “During the last few days, I look out my window and I see people just taking pictures, so it’s nice.”
Steve Williams has decorated his home at 11144 S. Albany Ave. for more than 20 years. Christmas is his second-favorite holiday, only behind St. Patrick’s Day.
Each year, Williams’ display has “bigger and bigger stuff,” but what’s remained the same is his well-loved nativity scene.
During the week of Christmas, the Williamses play Christmas music to accompany their Mount Greenwood display.
Their neighbors react by thinking, “Ope, it’s Christmas already,” Williams said.
Maria Gonzalez decorates her home at 2840 S. Harding Ave. every year for her sons.
“The youngest loves the lights,” Gonzalez said in Spanish. “And the other [reason why I decorate] is because Christmas is all about coming together for the coming of Christ and for him to arrive and see that there are lights and us waiting for him.”
The first block of South Throop Street glimmers with arches of light. Resident Jason Chamberlain said neighbors worked together to put up lights, which change color for Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas and year-end holidays.
Three families worked together to put up the light displays, and each of the townhouse community’s eight homes are represented in different ways, Chamberlain said. The holiday lights tradition has been a six-year tradition.
“Every year, somebody adds something new so it kicks it up a notch,” he said.
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