Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Tradition...Festival of Lights

Traditions are important. We have many of them. How about you?Today I want to share with you one of our traditions.

Every year we bundle up and load into the van and drive through the Keizer Festival of Lights. It is the place I wish I lived in town this time of year. You see, they have a route set up through a neighborhood about 1 1/2 miles from our home where people put up massive amounts of lights and many people along the route participate. It is a Griswald dream come true.

I LOVE decorating for Christmas. If I could set up my lights with LED and program it myself I would. Alas, we live on a private street with 4 homes. There is not a lot of traffic on our street. That is a great thing when the weather is nice and the kids want to play in the street. It's not great if you want to set up lights for all to see. Here is a video of the kind of decorations I dream of doing someday.

That being said, I still set up lights every year and do it as nice and close to overboard as possible. I don't live in that neighborhood, so we all drive over and take the winding journey at 2 miles per hour behind hundreds of other lookie looers. One home has Santa and they do a canned food drive. That is pretty cool. Some have their families' names on giant wooden Christmas stockings or snowmen or reindeer. Some have music set up with changing colored lights. There are many blow up Santas and reindeer on roofs, etc. It's pretty great. There is the occasional home that has 4 or 5 strands of lights thrown on a bush here and there and you suddenly start to judge them. You actually start judging homes that would be knock outs in normal neighborhoods, but not in this one.

Jeanne-Ann also makes hot chocolate or caramel hot cider for everyone. This year Kynzi and Karston put down the seats in the very back, placed blankets and pillows on the ground and played games as they sang Christmas carols. Most of it was lovely, but I don't know the right term for this:

It was interesting to note that the Salem Christmas Lights Parade was tonight as well, but the kids wanted to drive through the Festival of Lights.

Jeanne-Ann would mention a particularly awesome house and the kids would look up from their games and then back to the game and singing.
My favorite. It went between 2 homes. Love that the neighbors collaborated!
I wish this was in the neighborhood, but it's from Chicago.
Could make a cool background.
I like the notes to Santa.
This was only in Wilsonville today. Not south or north of it.
Just there. Got me ready for the Festival of Lights experience.
Randomly at Bridgeport.
It was a really great night! Do you have any fun pre-Christmas traditions?

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