Christmas Lights

One of my favorite holiday activities is driving around looking at Christmas lights.  I can remember being a child and sitting in the back of my parents vehicle with my cousins marveling at the beauty of the twinkling lights.  Decorations were much simpler back then.  No professionals putting up lights for people.  But they filled me with wonder nonetheless.

Every neighborhood has one of these...

Every neighborhood has one of these…

I also remember my dad and uncles using ‘Christmas light looking’ as code for driving around in the snow with a large travel mug filled with booze.  Not safe, but a tradition in my family all the same.  As an adult myself, I organized my own version of their tradition with some of my friends this year.  My scenario included a rented party bus to eliminate the driving with drinks factor.

We started at one person’s house with appetizers, sitting around in the warmth of the kitchen enjoying each others company (and drinks!)  We then loaded up the bus with coolers full of drinks and food and traveled to a local park that is extensively decorated for the season.  The park decorations are a fundraiser for a local shelter and it overlooks the Mississippi River giving it a spectacular view.  After driving through the park with the Christmas music on full blast, we slowly drove through some wealthy neighborhoods in the area.

I was blown away by the creativity and sheer amount of time and money invested in these decorations!  I realize that many people now outsource their Christmas light decorations, but I don’t think I had a concept of how far people would go to outdo their neighbors.  I love a good story about the local guy that spends weekends upon weekends putting up lights because that is his hobby, but I don’t know how much respect I have for the guy that simply writes out a check to look like his home could be on the cover of a Martha Stewart magazine.

Do you drive around looking at Christmas lights?

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