As this past holiday season becomes more of a distant memory, I think in 2020, we all realized that maintaining simple Christmas traditions are more important than ever.

In light of the on-going battle with COVID-19 and its restrictions on gatherings, fun old-fashioned family traditions really came to the forefront of everyone's minds this past year. Stuff like frosting cookies, decorating the Christmas tree and driving around checking out all the beautiful decorations, lights and elaborate displays.

One of the Cedar Valley's favorite displays was especially popular, the Prospect Light Show, located 1056 Prospect Boulevard in Waterloo was busy from the start of the season. On a nightly basis, at times, cars were lined up down the street and around the corner going down Ridgeway Avenue.

Jim and Marge Budensiek, moved to the Prospect house in 2015 and started the Prospect Light Show. In 2018, they decided to start raising money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital and they raised $487.13. In 2019, they raised $1852.52. All through the generous free-will donations of people as they pass-by in their vehicles. This year, fans of the light show generously donated an astounding $5190.57. To me, that's especially impressive, considering what many people are going through (with loss of income) during this pandemic.

The Budensiek's found this touching note in their donation box:

“This year has been crazy for me & my family and I’m positive it was for many others as well. I came across your amazing show by complete accident just looking at lights with my kiddos. It brought tears to my eyes and I thank you so much for that. We enjoyed it so much & I hope you guys have amazing holidays. I didn’t have much cash, but I hope it helps.”

Other area light shows were also very successful in raising money for terrific causes as well. For instance, the Waverly Lights display and the Wiechmann family raised over $4,000 for St. Jude's and the Krumwiede Light Display just outside of Waverly, raised over $900 for the Waverly United Way, over $600 for the Larrabee Center and over $500 for the Bremer County Food Pantry.

I think it's safe to say, everyone is looking forward to the 2021 holiday season, when maybe, just maybe, everything will be back to "normal". In case you missed it, here's a link to six different songs from the Prospect Light show.

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