Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Light Critics, Year 2

Last year my sis-in-law, Jenna, her friend, Kelsey, and I spent an evening driving around Lincoln, Nebraska admiring (and though it sounds a little mean, critiquing) neighborhood Christmas light displays. For the most part we were less-than-impressed with the countless haphazard, gaudy, and loud displays that overshadowed the few well planned and executed displays, so much so that we created our own list of "Guidelines for a Perfectly Decorated House".

Our family of four didn't spend Christmas in Nebraska this year, so Jenna, Kelsey and I weren't able to follow through on our plan to search out beautifully decorated homes and reward the owners with small treats, ribbons, or notes (next year!). Tom, Will, Hallie, and I spent an evening admiring the lights in College Station, however; we even wore our pajamas and ate cookies on our drive, all Polar Express-like.

It seemed, at least in the neighborhoods we meandered through, that nearly every College Station homeowner read our guidelines prior to hanging their Christmas lights. Beautifully and elaborately decorated homes were the norm, not the exception.

I'm pretty sure that after our 2011 Christmas light excursion I promised myself I'd learn how to take better pictures of Christmas lights before the end of 2012. I did not follow through on this promise, so please accept my apologies for the poor quality of these photos.
Hallie could have spent the entire evening watching these
mechanical elves stuff stockings and assemble and wrap toys.
This display isn't particularly impressive, but for some reason I've
become kind of attached to the "Merry Christmas, Y'all" saying.
This house was incredible.  There were a few different kinds of lights, which the
guidelines suggest against, but the lights were so organized and well hung that it didn't matter.
The fully-decorated and lit Christmas trees in the three upstairs windows were spectacular.
We couldn't get as close to this one house to its placement on the street and
neighborhood traffic, but it too was impressive.  They used only white,
red, and green lights and in person the lawn looked wonderful.
These people created a false room at the front of their house (there's a
fake wall, with a decorated fireplace and mantel on it, set up about six
feet behind the window) and made it look like Santa and his family were
enjoying the holidays inside.  Ridiculously creative and so fun for the kids.
I especially loved this two-story Christmas tree.
So in summary, congratulations, College Station, on a job well done.  And Lincoln, Nebraska, y'all had better step up your game by December 2013, because the Christmas Light Critics will be back to check your work.

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