I love Christmas.
I think one of the reasons may be because Christmas was so magical at my house. My parents love Christmas a whole lot and have always really decorated for Christmas. And, throughout the years the decorations have evolved, but my parents house has pretty much always rivaled the Griswold's from Christmas Vacation.
I snapped this from my phone on Christmas Eve.
Also, did you miss the giant Santa on the right side of the house? I did until I looked at this picture.
My dad is an electrical engineer by trade, which means he even has a complicated system of setting up the lights. He spends most of the week around Thanksgiving putting the lights up. He and my mom painted the figurines on the lawn years ago. Did you notice the elf in the middle? It has a sign on the left that says "How many days?" Then, the right side counts down the days until Christmas. We used to have to go outside in the freezing morning air, usually with snow on the ground to change the number on the elf. However, I can't tell you how many times throughout the years people have said that those numbers were one of their favorite parts of Christmas.
One of the best parts of the evolution of the Christmas lights has been that my parents have gotten new neighbors throughout the years. They live in a circle and we used to be the main attraction. Not anymore, however. This is the neighbor to the right of them. She even had music - which means she had to give something to my dad so he did too! People ask if they fight over the decorations, but it is the opposite. They give each other things to make their lights bigger and better.
And, this is the neighbor to the left of them. This looks like very few lights compared to the other two, but remember that it would be a normal set of lights.
Here is one of the best parts. Of the 4 houses in the circle, the one neighbor never really put lights up. He said he never needed to, since my parents put up so many. So, a few years ago my dad decided to put a Grinch in their yard, but didn't tell them who it was. They spent weeks trying to figure out who it was before figuring out it was my dad. Now, the it goes up every year.
Needless to say, there is a constant stream of cars coming in the circle throughout the month of December.
Gotta love that Clark Griswold.