Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas lighting and displays

I absolutely love bright, sparkly and colorful Christmas decorations. I wait in breathless anticipation for this season to arrive. Not everyone feels that way I guess but I certainly do. When I was a little shaver and my family lived in a very small house way out in the middle of nowhere my folks packed up my brother and I, borrowed the neighbors car and drove all the way into town just to ride around looking at Christmas lights and displays. I must have smeared up the windows of that car terribly with my face pressed tightly to the glass so as to see every bit of color. One entire neighborhood, three or four streets of them, had cooperated in placing lighted, wooden figures in their front yards up and down the streets depicting all the people and animals in the Christmas story, right down to the huge Christmas star and the Magi who came a little later. As young as I was I could hear in my head the voices of the census takers, the crying of the baby and the bleating of the sheep. (or was it maybe someone had an outdoor speaker system? Didn't matter then or now.)

Some lament the commercialization of Christmas, what with all the blowup snowmen, reindeer, Grinch's and elephants, you know things like that. Not me! I love that stuff too. Anything to do with Christmas is just fine with me as long as it is in good taste and does not disrespect the real reason for the season. After all, it's "Christ" mas. Rudolf is kinda cool with his bulbous red nose always trying to save someone from disaster and guiding good old Santa's sleigh. Some yards create an entire theme based on Rudolf. Then, of course there are the computer driven lights displays featuring the Christmas rock music of the Trans Siberian Orchestra. A blatant display of electronic ingenuity but fun, intriguing, fanciful and in many ways creating a joyful noise. Can't get much better than that.

I'm an adult and have been one for yea, these many years. I walk through my neighborhood slowly so I can take in every aspect of the the Christmas spirit reflected in each yard. Some are whimsical, playful and show hardly the slightest sign of spirituality. Some are strictly faith based religious offerings. Some are a mixture of new and old, electronic, hand made, and more recently the huge, air blown, lighted within balloon type displays. Some of which even have snow blowing around inside or a train going through it. I just don't know where it will go next with the new technology. It's the way of progress and it's been going throughout recorded history. Only a century ago, candles were the mainstay and electric lights were a novelty. I wonder what people thought about that?

Thanksgiving is only a day or two away. I have a great deal to be grateful for. One of them is to have driven my little shaver kids around town as they pressed their faces to the window to catch every last bit of the color and sparkle from the Christmas displays. The look in their eyes was something I'll never forget. And then the fun we had after looking at the lights by going to the homes of friends and family and throwing toilet paper on them. Now that's what I call a real Christmas spirit.

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