I love looking at Christmas lights. My family (well, I) used to put up outdoor lights and decorations, but that novelty kind of wore off a few years ago and I just enjoy looking at the ones others have so eloquently displayed. Tonight the local news featured a place in Pueblo that uses 83,000 lights. The thought of that boggles my mind. I thought 8 STRANDS of lights were a lot, but I can't even fathom 83,000 lights!
When I was on the school board, I loved attending the annual state board association conference at the Broadmoor because the place is always so lavishly decorated and they put on the ritz in the old building. You can get free hot chocolate and cookies there, see massive ginger bread villages, and model train sets. Usually there are carolers dressed in period attire and it's all just a throw back to what we envision Christmas to be like.
Another of my favorite haunts is the Seven Falls. They always light it up so beautifully and the drive up the canyon is simply breathtaking. If you visit on a beautiful night when the snow's not flying, you can roll down your car windows and listen as the Christmas carols echo throughout the canyon as you make your way to the Falls. There, your eyes are treated to multi-colored lights dancing off the roaring falls as the water tumbles beneath the ice. No photograph can do it justice.
The past three years my travels in search of beautiful Christmas lights have taken me out of state. I've included a photo of this stop, which has become a favorite of mine. I probably won't return for many more Christmas seasons, however, because I won't have a reason to travel to Arkansas. Oops, I tipped off where the location is, but you should have guessed that if you scrutinized the photo well enough to see the razorback in the middle of the picture. They're proud of their hawgs in Arkansas, especially in Fayetteville, which is also home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.
Despite all my ramblings through big cities and into five-star territories, I still prefer to take in the sights and sounds of rural Christmas settings. I find that rural dwellers seem to be a bit more creative when it comes to stringing lights and putting up decorations. There's just something about a real tractor all decked out in lights, pulling an old-fashioned wagon, plow, or manure spreader that's equally as illuminated. And Santa rarely dons a red cap--usually it's a grungy old Stetson that's probably seen it's better days, but still hangs in a special place on the front porch of the house that's beautifully and tastefully decorated with REAL wreaths and bows. Most of these places look like they've just leaped out of a Christmas card. That's probably where the card idea came from, don't you suppose?