Have Yourself a Griswold Christmas

How would you define your outdoor decoration style for Christmas? Are you a minimalist who puts a wreath on the door and thinks, “Now, the decorating is done.” Or, do you put lights up on the porch rails and frame out the doors and windows, making sure everything is symmetrical? Or . . . is anything in the yard or on the house fair game for decorating?

If you decorate your home exterior with the gleeful abandonment of Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation, you know who you are. So do your neighbors and the people who make a point to drive by every year to see what you’ve added this year! ‘Cause if that’s your style, there’s not much taken away, only added to, right?

We are blessed in this area to have a beautiful annual treat to visit: Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights. We pile into vehicles and visit to enjoy the light show and get into the spirit of the season.

But don’t forget to also pile into your car for an evening tour around your neighborhoods to enjoy the ‘exterior illumination’ talents of local residents. You’re likely to be surprised at what you can find – no addresses or locations provided here – you’ll have to hunt them down on your own, but they’re worth the quest!

There’s the house that has a yard full of different Christmas scenes from the Nativity, to Frosty, to the Grinch, and pretty much every favorite TV special you can name. Is anything to scale? Of course not. But it’s fun to visit a house whose owners just go all in to celebrate. And the decorations are not limited to just the front yard. Nope, the fence has its own lights along with the deck.

Then there’s the house that goes even further . . . all the lights twinkle and cover the entire home front. The intensity is such that anyone with a flashing light sensitively really can’t look straight at it for very long. Let’s just say that you can see it from afar!

And let’s not forget the good-natured, competitive spirit of neighbors bent on out-doing each other. You can tell when that’s the case during your drive; you get a front row (car) seat to determine the winner.

Raise your hand if you have or had those twig, pre-lit reindeers that have been so popular. What do you do when the lights on the head don’t work anymore? One resourceful person made one slight modification – instead of standing in the middle of the yard moving its head; his reindeer now grazes in the shrubbery with his head hidden. One can assume that as long as the backend lights, that deer will be snacking on shrubs every season.

Have you seen the giant ornament balls of lights that some folks put in their trees? Maybe you’ve made some yourself by accident . . . don’t you hate pulling out a tangled mess of lights that no one thought to detangle from last year? Unless you have a phenomenal amount of patience, buying new lights is definitely a good idea.

Whether you’re a Griswold-er decorator or just enjoy the simplicity of a few wreaths with spotlights, carve out some time to drive around an evening or two and enjoy the variety of decorations. Sharing is sharing whether it is a planned visit or a drive-by to see a house that exemplifies and celebrates the spirit of the season.

‘Tis the season. Enjoy! Merry Christmas to us, every one!




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