Rudolph’s nose might have created the original holiday glow — predating, of course, even the Christmas trees that came into vogue in the New Orleans area around the 1870s. Those were lit, for brief moments of viewing, with candles positioned in holders among the branches. They weren’t the safest of yule lights, but they were the simplest.

My, how times have changed. Today’s glorious lights can blink and pulse to music and change color. Through time, however, all these forms of illumination have shared the same mission: lighting the way for the spirit of Christmas to find us. Here’s a look at how neighborhoods around the area are ushering in the season of peace and goodwill toward men.

See more photos, page 7G.