Bel-Air Family Recognizes Addiction Recovery Through Christmas Lights
Tis the season to be jolly! With the holiday season well underway (Happy Chanukah to all those kicking off celebrations today!), family and togetherness is at the forefront of minds across the U.S.
For the Kurtz family in the Bel-Air area of Baltimore, their daughter Caroline’s brave fight to end her heroin addiction was also on their minds. So this year when they once again strung their house with thousands of lights and synchronized it to music, it was with her and the thousands affected by substance abuse at heart.
The Kurtz family gained some notoriety in the past five years for their impressive Christmas display, so this year they decided to use their internet fame to spread awareness and an encouraging message for those in addiction recovery. The Baltimore Sun reports the light show is synced to the uplifting and powerful song “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, with a preceding recorded message acknowledging 23 year old Caroline’s ongoing addiction recovery.
“It can happen to anybody, it’s not selective,” her father, Jim Kurtz, reminds us, “It’s not based on your gender or your social status; it can hit anybody. It’s a disease, plain and simple.”
Kurtz spent an entire week setting up the display, which also features classic, happy Christmas tunes as well as his message of acceptance, understanding, and tolerance. The voice recording which accompanies “Fight Song” goes on to tell viewers about the tens of thousands suffering from addiction in America and emphasizes that addiction is a lifelong disease which needs to be understood, not stigmatized.
The lights are scheduled to remain up through the end of the year and will be active from 5 pm to 9 pm during weekdays and until 10 pm on the weekends. As for Caroline, the Kurtz family ensured their daughter gave her approval regarding letting the world know about her struggles, which her father says she gave while choking back tears.
Caroline’s struggle reportedly began with prescription pill abuse; she has been working on achieving and maintaining her sobriety for about a year.
The Kurtz family has also become active in community events regarding prevention and education for substance abuse. They attended a forum in Cecil County regarding the substance abuse problem affecting the community, lending their daughter’s story to the cause.
What kind of sober celebration plans do you have for this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!
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About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.