Monday, December 22, 2003

Let There Be Lights

I'll admit it: I'm a Christmas light fanatic. While some may say that exquisite lighting displays are simply a symbol of the over-commercialism of Christmas (this goes all the way back to, oh, Snoopy's doghouse in A Charlie Brown Christmas), I think it's great. I love driving through some of those "showcase" neighborhoods and being bathed in the colors of the season. To me, it doesn't symbolize commercialism at all, but rather it's an earthly manifestation of the Light whose entry into the world we celebrate. Oh, and it just plain looks cool too...

I have my favorite places in D/FW, of course--some of which I visit every year no matter what, and some of which I mean to visit but don't always get around to doing. Here are Kev's Top Three in the area, plus a few other places of note:

1) DEERFIELD (Plano): This is one of those neighborhoods where almost everyone participates; even those who don't celebrate Christmas will have up little menorahs or what-not. Like all good light-show neighborhoods, this one has lots of cul-de-sacs so that traffic can move smoothly without turning around in the middle of the street. They also have horse carriages for hire, and the area is a prime spot for limo tours as well. (I caught this one last night.)

2) SPRING PARK (Garland): This one not only has lots of cul-de-sacs, but it also has "theme streets" where everyone does things like Elvis, 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, the Grinch, etc. Last year I finally figured out how to traverse the entire neighborhood without having to double back... (I'm going there when I get back from Houston this year.)

3) INTERLOCHEN (Arlington): This is not that far from Six Flags, and there's a similarity between them: along the road leading to Interlochen, there are signs saying how long the wait is from whatever point you're at, just like the line for the Batman or something. The bonus of this neighborhood is that two of the streets back up to a canal, so they not only do their front yards but also their backyards all the way down to the water. During peak times, they have cops directing traffic, roads coned off, and little sidewalk lemonade or hot chocolate stands (depending upon the weather) for thirsty viewers. (I get there every few years or so.)

There are also a couple of individual places worth noting: a house on DOGWOOD TRAIL in Rowlett that is totally awesome, but it has so much neon, it's a wonder how the neighbors sleep (there must be a 'light curfew' or something), and a house near HEBRON PKWY. and SIERRA in Carrollton that has a Santa-copter on the roof and a full-blown Santa's workshop in the garage, plus several window dioramas.

One thing these places all have in common is that they're in really nice neighborhoods also. I like gawking at the houses apart from the lights; maybe some Christmas I need to go to Fairview, which I wrote about in the early days of this blog.

Anyone have any local sites I missed? Use the comment section below.

Oh, and despite my love of lights, my own lights didn't get up until this morning *sigh*. It was a combination of too busy, too dark when I wasn't busy, too rainy when I wasn't busy and it wasn't dark, and too busy. But at least they're up and I won't be a "Scrooge" anymore (my term for the people in those showcase neighborhoods who don't have any lights going).

I'll be in Houston (Sugar Land to be precise) for the next few days, but I'll have full computer access and will post a few "Live from..." entries while I'm there.

THIS IS WEIRD: I've never had my teaching music follow me around like this, but tonight in Chick-Fil-A, I heard snippets of two tunes in a row that people are playing for Solo & Ensemble: the Pachelbel Canon (a.k.a. the "Taco Bell Canon"--another story for another time) and the Troika from Lt. Kije Suite. They weren't the originals--they had pop songs written around them--but the classical pieces were still very apparent.

THE ELECTRIC SLIDE? You have to see this clip of a dancing trombone player; it's totally hilarious (even if he fracks the last note). I wonder if Fizban is jealous that the guy whose site this came from claims to have "the first bass bone blog on the planet."

AND NOW, A LOOK AT THE WEATHER: It was the first day of winter in Texas, but you couldn't tell at first...and then you definitely knew later.

1:00 p.m.: 70 degrees, sunshine
8:00 p.m.: 54 degrees, nasty north wind, big lightning clouds off to the east.

How do we ever know how to dress here? We sometimes go through several entire seasons in a single day. I think Demon Matt may have a point with his hoodie-and-flip-flops motif; at least he's 50% right all of the time...

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