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Christmas Lights

Posted by Necee on 12/19/03 at 00:39 (140274)

Something to share.

Last night we went out to eat with some friends, after an enjoyable meal, talking and planning our cruise for this Spring, we decided to take a ride and look at the Christmas lights. There is a place called 'Spring Creek', the countryside there is dotted with beautiful homes, each one was all decked out for Christmas. As we were driving along we came upon this old iron bridge, someone had adorned it with hundreds of twinkling lights, it was absolutely beautiful!
There is a radio station that has been playing nonstop Christmas music, so with the car radio tuned in, we took in all the sights. It was a relaxing and wonderful evening.

Merry Christmas to all...

Necee

Re: Christmas Lights

Suzanne D. on 12/19/03 at 07:54 (140299)

How beautiful that must have been, Necee! I'm glad you experienced it.

I think I've written before about the old iron bridge in our community. It is about a mile from my house and on the way to our church. About 10 years ago, some people in our community got the idea to decorate it for Christmas, and that is now a favorite tradition.

The volunteer firefighters head up the project and work hard putting up lights, snowmen, angels, etc. all along the big bridge. Then the first Sunday night of December, the community gathers by the river to sing Christmas songs and count down, '10, 9, 8...'; then the lights come on, and everyone cheers! We then walk a short distance to the nearby Christian camp and have cookies and hot chocolate.

It's the one time a year that our tiny community is 'famous'. We usually make the front page of our county newspaper with a picture of the 100 year-old bridge all decked out for the holidays.

By the way, we have an hour delay for school today due to a little bit of snow last night, but we get to be here for our Christmas party! I'm so glad we didn't have to miss this last day before the break.

Suzanne :)

Re: Christmas Lights

Ellen J. on 12/19/03 at 08:05 (140303)

Great idea! I've been wanting to do that but with all the details of the season, I never seem to get around to checking out everyone's creative spirit. I'm far too lazy to go out in the cold and put up lights so I enjoy everyone else's decorating efforts while out on errands. I bet that bridge was gorgeous!
Ellen J.

Re: Christmas Lights - - I love them!

Carole C in NOLA on 12/19/03 at 09:09 (140312)

Necee, one of the great New Orleans traditions is 'Celebration in the Oaks'. In City Park, trees are decorated with strings of lights and there are large displays of Christmas lights sponsored by various groups in the city. It costs $12 per car to drive through, or $5 per person to walk through. This is a huge display of lights and continues for miles. The money collected is used to support the park so a lot of people participate.

Last year Frank and I drove through it and it was so beautiful and romantic. Christmas music accompanies the lighted displays through speakers. I probably don't need to tell my PF friends here that we chose to drive through, and that took an hour or two. That was an hour or two when we could just leave our cares behind and let Christmas spirit flow into and permeate our previously slightly grinchy selves.

I think we both felt like happy children on Christmas Day by the time we were finished. Frank said it was the best Christmas of his life, and it was indeed wonderful!

Al Copeland, who owns the 'Popeyes' fast food chain as well as Copelands' restaurant chain, lives in the more luxurious part of my suburb up by Lake Ponchartrain. Every Christmas he decorates the front yard of his mansion with extravagant lights and it is free. It draws so many families that the police have to direct traffic up there in December. Copeland says that he does it because he was poor as a child, and remembers how much the Christmas lights on wealthier peoples' homes meant to him. Maybe Frank and I will drive by there, too. I've seen it on TV, but never in real life.

I think I enjoy lights perhaps even more than most people. Due to MS, in 1977 I was blind in one eye but have since recovered all my vision. It scared me to death at the time, because the doctors were telling me that I could become blind in both eyes. That never happened, but ever since then I absorb and try to remember the beauty of beautiful flowers, Christmas lights, and such as though I might never see them again.

My MS has been in complete remission for over a decade. I am sure now that I will always be able to see Christmas lights, but for over a quarter century by now, I have experienced them with far more intensity than I did before 1977. I am so blessed. My 'silver lining' far surpasses the temporary inconvenience of the 'cloud' of a year's blindness.

Carole C

Re: PS

Carole C in NOLA on 12/19/03 at 09:22 (140314)

I forgot to say that Frank is returning to New Orleans for Christmas this Sunday, and that he told me yesterday by e-mail that we WILL go to see 'Celebration in the Oaks' again this year! I'm so happy, and so happy that he cares. :)

Carole C

Re: Christmas Lights - - I love them!

Dorothy on 12/19/03 at 13:54 (140351)

Carole C ~ This is a lovely, lovely story and very wise. I didn't know you had MS and am very happy that you have been in remission for over a decade. You are so right that illness or injury or even pain have 'lessons' in them, including what you described so well when you wrote '..I have experienced them with far more intensity than I did before 1977. I am so blessed....' It would appear that each of us human beings has to experience for ourselves, over and over again, that old adage: you don't know what you've got until you lose it. We only learn that 'lesson' until each of us, in our turn, loses something that we had - sight, mobility, strength, independence - THEN it becomes precious, even though it was ALWAYS precious. What we then learn is that it is all precious, all the time.
I loved your taking us on your (personal as well as automotive) tour of the lights. Lovely, Carole. Thank you.

Re: Christmas Lights

marie on 12/20/03 at 08:00 (140410)

Last Sunday we told our youngest son, 16 yrs, that we were going to Ft Wayne to look at some Christmas lights....nearly an acre. That was just a trick to get him to go with us. He has always been fascinated with lights.....since birth. Much to his surprise we stopped at a small house and knocked on the door. He thought it was a friends house because we were lost. When he walked in the little girl who lives there presented him with our new puppy. He was very surprised but a little disappointed that there wasn't an acre of lights. He just adores our new little Heidi.

marie

Re: Christmas Lights and other Christmas memories

Kathy G on 12/20/03 at 09:34 (140419)

I just love Christmas lights! My father always decorated our house and he did a beautiful job. He never would put up just lights but would put up laurel roping with the lights, so that 'They'd look pretty during the day, too.'

We recently watched Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation and I consider it to be a holiday must. I'm not a Chevy Chase fan and I don't like slapstick comedy but so much of that movie makes me think of my childhood. Every year, my father would come home with a huge tree and my mother would expound on how we'd never get it into the house. And every year, he'd say, 'It's just a little full!'

He'd always have to cut off a couple of feet of it just to get it in the door. And the years we went and cut down our own trees? Those years, we nearly froze until he found just the right tree and it never looked any different to me than the forty others we'd passed.

Once he got the tree, he would proceed to put the lights on and no one ever understood his method. I mean, he didn't seem to follow any kind of a pattern, ever, but it took him hours and he'd put on every light he could find! Each year, he added a few more strands!

And we always drove all around to see the Christmas lights. I was so disappointed the first time I took my son to look at the Christmas lights and he was most impressed with a tow truck with 'binking 'ights.' Guess I brough him out way too young, huh?

My daughter was also underwhelmed with my Christmas tour so I usually go by myself unless I can cajole my husband into going with me. We have a couple of neighborhoods in town that do a beautiful job.

Carole, I was thinking maybe I'd fly down to join you and Frank on your tour of the park. It sounds glorious! It's kind of a long commute, though so I'll have to pass. I know you'll be disappointed. I've seen pictures of the estate that you mention and I'd love to see it in person.

Suzanne, your description of the lighting of the bridge brings back wonderful memories of my childhood. We lived in a very small town in CT and the big event was the lighting of the huge tree on the lawn of the Congregational Church in the center of town. Everyone would go and we'd sing Christmas carols and other Christmas songs and there would be hot chocolate and cookies. It was typically small town New England and such a wonderful experience!

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and helping me to remember some of my own wonderful Christmas memories!