Christmas in Lights

My neighborhood goes a little nuts during the holidays, in both a good and bad way. It’s good because every single night during the holiday season there is a party going on in my neighborhood. I walk the dog at night and it’s an endless supply of free beer on our 1.6 or 2 mile loops. You can’t beat that. It’s also awesome because everything is lit up and no cars! We don’t allow cars in the neighborhood unless you live here except for a couple of drive through nights. I’m not kidding, every entrance in or out is manned by police and has barricades across it. It’s like we live in a compound, a good compound, happy, full of holiday cheer compound not a Waco like compound. We charge people a can good to get in the neighborhood. We raise several tons of food for the Community Food bank to help feed those less fortunate. You like karaoke? We have it. Live music? That also. Community theater? That as well. Bright lights? Big cities? Gingerbread houses? Check, check and check.

Did you know the first Community Food Bank in the world was started in Phoenix AZ? Neither did I until I volunteered at that food bank a few months ago.

One of the drawbacks of being in our neighborhood during the holiday season is running around your house naked forgetting the blinds are open and 1000+ people are walking through the neighborhood each night. Of course you typically only do that once per season until you realize that at any given moment there are 5-250 strangers standing in front of your house staring at your lights and taking pictures. Nothing like adding the full Monty to your holiday display. On the two nights they allow cars, my cul de sac becomes a traffic jam. I try to put a good movie on for them to watch as they sit parked in front of my house for 10-15 minutes at a time. Next year Episode 6 of Star Wars, mark your calendars. It took me 12 minutes to drive the quarter mile up my street to my house. I might be able to still run 2 miles in that time if I had to. But fortunately we have police at every entrance. I just have to run there if someone is chasing me.

One of 5 cranes that set up the hood

One of 5 cranes that set up the hood

The weekend before everything kicks off we have cranes running around stringing lights on every tree that can support lights. When I say we, I mean my neighbors not me just so there isn’t any confusion. Some people take this way too seriously in my neighborhood. Not to mention two or three cherry pickers and more ladders then Home Depot stocks at any one time. You actually have to reserve one of these cranes, well in advance, if you need it to string lights in your trees. Demand is that high.

What does all this madness look like? Out of the 125 or so houses in my neighborhood only about 10 don’t have some display set up. The displays run from needing their own coal fired power plant to keep them on to somewhat more environmentally friendly. Here is a small sampling of what it looks like at night. If you go into space I’ve heard rumors that Nasa can pick out my neighborhood. We even spread cheer to astronauts.

I should star planning the Star Wars/Grinch theme’d display now to get a jump on next holiday season.

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