Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Lights - Streets on Fire

Well, it's Christmas time again and the annual competition is underway. I don't participate in this annual tradition as much as others. This year, we didn't put any lights outside at all - simply no time. It's been hectic every day the past few months. We just decorated inside a bit. Put up our two trees. One for the living room in the front and one for the family room in the back.

But many of my neighbors have gone to their usual lengths to impress with lights and decorations. One neighbor has a 4-car garage and uses fully half of that to store his Christmas decorations for the rest of the year when he is not using them. He has a Christmas tree in every room, and each one is themed with different nostalgic Christmases of the past including decorations he has accumulated over his lifetime. In one front window he has an illuminated robotic Santa waving his arm at passersby. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see him in the center window on the second floor.
Outside, he has an 8-ft tall gingerbread house filled with stuffed toys arranged in a tea party inside. He even has a working train on tracks and gives small children a ride around his front yard in it! Have a look and see what I mean...

And then there are the miniatures as well. Here you see another neighbor that, every year, converts half his garage into an elaborate Christmas scene of a miniature town. It is perhaps 12 feet long, and 6 ft deep and raised to be displayed on an angle, as if the town is built on the side of a terraced hill. He sets it up to be viewed through the windows of the garage, then even provides a lighted pathway across his lawn with lit handrail guides to usher visitors from the street to his window to view. There are easily 50 buildings in his amazing miniature Christmas village, each is perhaps 10 or 12 inches wide, and they include esoteric structures such as a drive-in theater, movie theater, Krispy Kreme donut shop, and even a Ford car dealership complete with a showroom including a little red '57 T-Bird on a working turntable, along with the churches, houses, hotels, and shops and stores and gas stations, etc. There is even a little skating pond with actual tiny skaters skating around in little circles. It is truly remarkable.

One trend which seems to be becoming popular in the last few years has been huge inflatable yard decorations. Giant 10-ft tall Santas, and huge Teddy Bears. And then, this year, we are seeing a new item in abundance. Giant snow globes complete with blowing snow inside. Simply amazing.

I took my daughter and some of her friends for a little drive to see the lights and sights Friday night. Included here are a few pictures from our trip around the neighborhood. As well as a couple pictures of our own Christmas trees.
This is one of my own in a warm little Christmas corner of my family room.

Merry Christmas to all!!


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