by Christopher HodappOur annual road trip caravan to Southern California to visit family is in full holiday mode this week, as you might guess from our aluminum yuletide decor. In perusing Reddit today, I came across a couple of Masonic halls festooned with festive holiday decor. It’s a relatively inexpensive (and annually reusable) way to call attention to your temple.
Mount Ararat Lodge in Bel Air, Maryland (above) claims to have 50,000 twinkling Christmas lights decorating their building, more than Rockefeller Center’s tree in New York, and more than twice as many as Clark W. Griswald’s house.
Trinity Lodge 163 in Newport, Kentucky, posted by u/ratebigrob
Back in 2017, historic St. John’s Lodge No. 1 in Mountain Lakes, NJ participated in the local Christmas Home Tour. If your Masonic hall is even remotely historic, architecturally significant, or just plain situated in a neighborhood with these types of tour events, tie in an open house so that the community has the opportunity to come in and find out just what it is we do and what we stand for. Perhaps offer coffee, hot cider, and hot chocolate to the public and give them a rest from wandering your town in the cold.
Masonic Park and Youth Camp in Tampa, Florida (photo above) sets up an annual drive-through holiday light display. And many state Masonic retirement homes decorate their campuses with nighttime lighting displays.
Meanwhile, my sister and brother-in-law live near Newport Beach in Orange County, California, which is home to one of the oldest and largest Christmas ‘boat parades’ in America. Waterfront houses around the harbor are decorated with lights, along with scores of boats large and small. Everything from two-person launches up to huge yachts and even a massive ferry are covered in lights and process in a line up and down the twisting shore. Some are owned by individuals or sailing clubs, while others are commercial/corporate vessels. A few local community groups were sponsors or participants in the illuminated flotilla. This would be a golden opportunity for a Masonic district or group of lodges to band together and create their own floating entry.
Is your lodge or Masonic hall doing anything special for the Christmas holiday season? Pass it along and I’ll update this post. Send to email@example.com
Updated 12/21/21 4:31AM
RW David Catten, Past Master of Dewitt Clinton Lodge in Sandwich, Massachusetts, reports that their lodge, a former Methodist church built in 1847, shines for the season. It has been the lodge’s home since 1913.