Let There Be Lights

As you may be aware, we are a Christmas-loving household. Not just in the sense that we can more or less (Eric more, me just slightly less) recite "A Christmas Story" word for word (my word-for-word movie is "Home Alone." Trust me. I've done it. Tot he chagrin of agonized audiences within earshot). And not only because we enjoy the tradition of putting up the tree making Christmas treats and listening to holiday tunes. When it comes to celebrating Christmas we like to go all out, so due to our shortened Christmas season (just three and a half weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas), we're trying to cram in as much as possible.

Last spring, Eric surprised me by removing the two, ugly-old trees from our front yard. Not only did this ramp up our home's curb appeal immensely, but it also created an opening for more space to work with on the Christmas-light-display front. Eric's motto, when it comes to Christmas lights, is "More is more, and also, let's add more." And honestly, I've never been one to lean toward "tasteful" Christmas decorations. All-white lights are beautiful and classy, but, for me, when it comes to Christmas decorations, the more garish, the more kitsch-tastic, the better.

And so, our display has grown. We've got a lot going on now that we've got extra room to spare out front, and are not taking granted of that space. We flipped the switch on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and in the days that have passed we've received a ton of compliments from passersby. Our three-year-old neighbor said, with our lights on, we "look like we're partying!" And apparently our other toddler-neighbor across the streets likes to stand in the window and stare at the lights, as well. For Eric, the big kid himself, his favorite part of putting up the lights is hearing and seeing the neighborhood kids enjoy them.

Although plenty of adults have complimented our display, too.

So now, in its entirety, I give you our improved, slightly larger, 2013 Christmas light display:
As I say every year, the photos don't really do this display justice. For one, you can't see that the candy canes that line each side of our yard flash continuously. Secondly, there is a lot of detail that doesn't come through. But, I mean, you get the picture. (If you want to see the whole thing in action, check out the video Eric posted on Instagram last week).

We've got a number of new items this year. Most notably, the MERRY X-MAS Scrabble tiles on the left side of the yard. Eric had the idea for these a few weeks ago, and put me to work in making them.

To make them, we bought pre-cut 24"x24" sanded plywood, then I just simply (though somewhat painstakingly) drew and painted the letters on each. Eric affixed them to some wooden posts with heavy-duty construction glue, and we pounded them into the ground at a height that would still allow people to see the tile numbers once we get a few inches of Christmas snow (by the way, we received five inches of snow yesterday - I wish I had a chance to show you the lights in the snow! I may post an update when I get a chance).

Also new this year is my pal Snoopy and his buddy Woodstock. This is the first animatronic decoration we've ever purchased, and I've had my eye on him for well over a year now (Eric finally caved when I asked him if we could pplllleeeeeaaasssseeee add this to our display this year). The mailbox lid opens and closes while the lights are on, and I just think it's so cute every time Woodstock pops out to say "hello."

Also new this year are the smiling snowman and candy cane near the front door of the house, and a second penguin pal on the right side of our yard. Eric also added a few extra strands of lights, as well as a red and green floodlight on each corner of the house.

Of course, Mr. Bear was welcomed back to his rightful place in the front yard once again this year, adorned with his favorite Santa hat, and holding a festively-lit wreath, as in years past.

We're pretty pleased with our display this year. Nothing matches or goes together whatsoever, but, oh, are there a lot of pretty lights. Every once in a while I'll catch Eric just looking out the window at them, proud of his work and happy to light our street once again this Christmas season.

Many more Christmas updates to come! Until then, stay festive, gang!

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