And the award goes to…

When my siblings and I were kids, our mother would pack us in the Vista Cruiser station wagon (it was the family vehicle with the first ever moon view skylights) and we would ohhh and ahhhh to my mom’s delight as we passed house after house decorated for the holidays.

As we became teenagers, the joy of looking at lights waned a bit and we often found other things to do.  Somehow, the “dazzle” of holiday lights took a backseat to boyfriends, swim meets, and listening to anything but boring ole Bing Crosby.

Well, what’s the saying, “the old becomes new again”  or in this case I find myself thinking, “oh jeez, I’m turning into my mother.”  Which, by the way, isn’t such a bad thing…just saying.  I’m older and wiser now and for the past couple of years have really enjoyed firing up the Camry and heading down memory lane.  The ooohhhs and ahhhhs are back.

Now, if you haven’t seen holiday lights lately, WOW, stop reading immediately and head out on a drive through your neighborhood to witness the “neighborhood spectacle of lights” your neighbors have so diligently put up for your viewing pleasure.   Our neighborhood association has a contest every year for the most creative, most beautiful, etc. in the lighting and decorating department.  Well, if I could cast my vote, it would be for the neighbors down around the corner…talk about creative, humorous holiday lights.  The first night I saw them, I laughed the whole way home.  No, not a snicker laugh, a full on Santa deep belly laugh.  So funny, I brought the family to see them….and then came down to talk with the decorating genius and take a photo of said lights.  YES, here they are….the award SHOULD go to…RUDOLPH.   Oh wait, don’t worry kids, it’s not Rudolph, no red nose.  But it is one of his relations.

In talking with our neighbors, he admits to being a country boy and he loves to hunt, fish and get close to nature.  He and his wife have both a Florida Gator AND a Georgia flag that hang at their house.  Now, if that ain’t love, I don’t know what is.  I say they both get points for being down-to-earth and extra points for their sense of humor.   Thank you for adding some holiday cheer to the neighborhood!  Kudos and if you don’t win this year’s award, see me and I’ll bring the beer and be the first to toast you on a job well done.

Ok, so if you’re not into driving around neighborhoods looking at holiday lights in fear that people will think you’re a stalker, fear not.  That’s why Walt Disney World has the “Spectacle of Lights.”   If you happen to live in Orlando or are lucky enough to visit over the holidays, this is one light display not to be missed.  We have been almost every year since they started in 1995 and my have they come a long way since the first showing with just 4 million lights.  According to , there are now…

  • 5 million individual lights or 350 miles of lights that took 21,000 hours to install.
  • More than 40 Mickey images hidden throughout.
  • A 70-foot-tall Christmas tree glittering with 58,000 lights and a 30-foot-tall tree with 27,300 lights.
  • A whopping 800,000 watts of electricity used along the park’s 760-foot-long New York, Chicago & San Francisco Streets.
  • More than 350 miles of Christmas lights wrapped around the display with 32.2 miles of extension cables.
  • Sixty-six snow machines and 100 gallons of snow fluid used to create a flurry of snowflakes.

So back to the neighborhood lights…thank you to those of you who take the time to painstakingly string lights on your rooftops, doorways, walkways.  Thank you for checking each bulb to make sure they work and finding that one…somewhere in the strand….that keeps the others from lighting up.  Thank you for finding room in your closets, shed, attic or spare bedroom for the lights the other eleven months out of the year.  But most of all, thank you for taking time to spread your good cheer, good humor and great lights with the rest of us!  Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hanukah, and may we all live past what the Mayan calendar says will be the end of the world in order that you can put away those lights and then get them out again for many years to come.

More lights at WDW Hollywood Studios

Osborn lights at WDW Hollywood Studios


2 comments on “And the award goes to…

  1. Chris Dawson-AGFT Volunteer says:

    Hi Val! Great story & pictures!! I have never been to see the Christmas Lights at WDW. I have never been to see the Osborne Christmas Light either. I’ve only seen them on T.V.

    See you at AGFT!

  2. me says:

    more stories please

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