The 5 most festive drive-thru holiday light shows for 2020
Hargis family spreads holiday cheer through annual light show

The pandemic has robbed us of the better part of a year. Not being able to have holiday celebrations has made it feel as if the holidays didn't even happen. Those little rituals of cutting turkey with your family on Thanksgiving or going to a BBQ on Labor Day are what makes the holiday feel more like a holiday than just getting the day off. Technically, the only reason why we had a Fourth of July this year is because July 4th is a date on the calendar.

COVID hasn't entirely cancelled Christmas. Festive Holiday light shows mean you can experience that Christmas-y feel from the safety of your own car. Or better yet, you can skip getting in your car and watch them on You Tube. These people have been working hard, despite the pandemic, to make sure that some of that Holiday magic enters our lives.


Magical Light Show

Titanium (David Guetta/Sia) 2020 Christmas Light Show www.youtube.com


The Magical Light Show happens every year in Tracy, California and 2020 isn't an exception. The light show also doubles as a fundraiser for the McHenry House, a family shelter in Tracy. You don't have to be anywhere near the California city to view the show or to donate. The organization is taking donations on their website.

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Light Projection

The Grinch- Christmas House Projection Show 2020 www.youtube.com


COVID is basically the Grinch who stole Christmas, or at least the Grinch who reduced Christmas to only essential functions. This light show is the Dr. Seuss classic, but projected on to somebody's house – which is really the best way to see it, anyways.

Polar Christmas Light Show At Toronto Pearson Airport

Polar Christmas light Show 2020 Massive (4K) #Christmas Medley Disco Remix 2020 no copyright #Glow www.youtube.com


In any other year, going to the airport around the Holidays is a special kind of hell you'd only wish on your worst enemy (because it's not fatal, just uncomfortable). The upshot of 2020 is that Holiday travel is less painful, thanks in part to this fun light show on the way to the airport in Toronto. It's like a Christmas-y theme park ride at a time when theme parks are closed. And it's a lot cheaper than Disneyland, too.

Larsen's Light Show

Larsens Light Show - Carol of the Bells www.youtube.com


There's something so soothing and satisfying about watching perfectly synchronized lights and music. This Campton Hills, Illinois-based light show does not disappoint. The show is lovingly put on by Brian Larsen. This year is actually the last year for the show in its current location. Traffic issues are making the light show move to a different, larger, and hopefully less congested location.

COVID Mask (Monster Mash Parody)

Covid Mask - Monster Mash parody - Halloween lightshow 2020 www.youtube.com


Is it still October? It could be. Who really knows. Time has been irrelevant since March. It's hard to tell what day or month it is anymore. We didn't have Halloween, so this Monster Mash/face mask parody is still relevant, even though we're halfway through December. This cheeky light show pokes fun at the frustrations of having to wear a face mask. But seriously, you should wear a face mask. It's a pain in the butt, but it could save someone else's life.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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