Artist Judith Youshock of Heart to Art directed happy World Laughter Day participants as they painted the mural that will benefit the non-profit Humor Therapy Fund.
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Laugh to Live owner and certified laughter yoga leader Jeannine M Luby (me) led mini sessions of laughter yoga at the World Laughter Day Scranton celebration held at Nay Aug Park. Here we're practicing a round of "ho ho ho's." This was one of many celebrations across the country and around the world. Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of laughter yoga started World Laughter Day to unite the world through something peaceful and positive. He said, "When we laugh, we change. When we change, the world changes."

Each year I get excited about viewing Christmas lights at Nay Aug Park and throughout a number of different neighborhoods in Scranton including South Side, Green Ridge and others. This year did not disappoint. With four of my favorite gal pals at my side, I took in this year's light display at Nay Aug and then proceeded to visit the always well-lit and now-famous home on Moosic Street in South Side. We toured another neighborhood nearby in the Nativity section and then headed over to Green Ridge to see the beautiful home decorations on North Washington and Wyoming Avenues. The best part of the trip is just the lights alone but the comments exchanged inside the car among us gals that are just as colorful as the light displays. We tease one another and laugh a lot! Here's a snippet from my Tuesday night visit to see the lights of Nay Aug Park and other parts of Scranton.
About six years ago when we piled into Steph's Honda, I didn't know that we were starting what would become an annual tradition but I'm so glad that's what it has become. Each year, Steph, Mel, Jean and Sophia and I go to Nay Aug Park in one car to view the Christmas lights at Nay Aug Park together. Some times we'll have coffee, hot chocolate or lattes from Starbucks and I'll bring a bag of cookies I've made for the holiday season. (Life is always sweeter with a little snack.) Steph drives and we all share funny banter as we drive through the park, remarking on the lights with a few "ooohs and ahhs" thrown in for good measure. The lights are the reason that we schedule this date on a week night in mid December but it's about so much more. We've created so many fun memories that we often talk about months and years later. "Remember when Sophia said... " And we do more than our share of "laughing all the way."

One of my favorite memories is from about two years ago when then 7-year old Sophia was making up her own Christmas jokes. The first few she told were not hilarious but they were cute funny, like you would expect from a child. Then she told a joke that just didn't make sense and we didn't even fake laugh. After that Sophia proclaimed "Ugh, that was lame wasn't it?"  And THAT made all of us crack up.

Now ever year we make sure that we plan our night to drive around Nay Aug Park to enjoy the holiday light show, drive through a number of Scranton neighborhoods to appreciate the beauty of many decorated houses and then return to my home in North Scranton where we laugh more, eat, drink and exchange Christmas presents in front of my Christmas tree giving off a wonderful fresh scent. I am happy to host our post-lights fun. Having people in my home fills it with warmth that lasts a long time in the form of memories and pleasant thoughts that make me smile.

Brighten up your holiday season by viewing the lights at Nay Aug Park this year. It may sound corny but the experience will "light up your life."
Pack up the car with some hot chocolate, cookies and good friends and get to Nay Aug Park now through January