Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to drive around, enjoying the Christmas lights on display. A few years ago, I used my children as an excuse to participate. "Dear," I would say to Kennon, "our boys really want to look at the Christmas lights." So we would bundle everyone up, climb inside our car, and drive around for a look see. And after we had seen everything there was to see, we would splurge for hot chocolate to sip on the way home.

Since our youngest son has been plagued with motion sickness his entire life, we always made sure that we gave him something like Dramamine to make this an enjoyable ride for all concerned. One year, however, someone (okay, me) forgot to pick up the Dramamine from a local store. There we were, ready for our traditional run to enjoy the Christmas lights, and we were lacking the one item necessary to make this a good experience.

Out of desperation, I resorted to taking the advice of a local doctor. He had told me once that Antivert possesses the same ingredient as Dramamine to control dizziness. Since I had some Antivert on hand compliments of a recent bout with an inner ear infection, I figured it would work for Devin. Long story short, I cut one of those pills in half and gave it to my youngest son. Big mistake. It did keep him from getting car sick, but he was about as hyper as we've ever seen him. He sat between Kennon and I up front (mostly to keep his brothers from harming him) and nearly bounced off the car ceiling during the entire trip. He sang Christmas carols at light speed and kept us entertained all night long. Good times. ;) And you can bet I never did that again. We laugh about that night now---it's a treasured memory. One of several with regard to seeing the Christmas lights.

I'm thinking our sons enjoyed this tradition as much as I did. We usually went through a local canyon and enjoyed the Christmas display in nearby Preston, Idaho. Preston always goes all out for this fine tradition. Their festival of lights is a beautiful thing to behold. ;) You can click here
for more information. True, you'll have to scroll to the bottom of the web page, but it is there I promise. First you'll have to read through a bit of information about Preston's own: "Napoleon Dynamite", Preston's other claim to fame, but I digress. In fact, here's a nifty picture of the van they used for this movie. I took a picture of it on one of my jaunts through Preston a couple of years ago. =)

Back to the tradition of the Christmas Lights. Seeing those lights always fills me with the Christmas Spirit. You can imagine my excitement last week when I drove through Preston and observed that they're already putting up the lights and decorations in anticipation of this great event. This traditional festival of lights begins the weekend immediately after Thanksgiving, so it's coming right up.

There's an awesome place on the outskirts of Preston (it's north, just up past the Burger King) that was one of our favorite stops. The people who live here display fun wood cutouts of several Disney and other cartoon characters. Each year there seems to be a new display for our enjoyment. The lights covering these works of art are incredible. Christmas music plays in the background, so we always roll down our windows to savor the experience as we drive around, admiring the work this family has done to welcome the holiday spirit. Up by their house is a tiny metal bucket for donations if you're feeling generous. I'm sure it costs an arm and a leg to keep this running, so we usually put a bit of green stuff in the bucket to show our appreciation.

Down Preston's Main Street at a local park, are the lighted floats from their annual parade of lights. So if you miss the parade, you can still see the beautiful floats that are lighted each night for everyone's enjoyment.

There are plenty of fun places to eat (I recommend Big J's---wonderful food and good service) in Preston, so if you want to make a night of it, grab a bite to eat and then drive around and appreciate the gorgeous lights.

This year when we're all trying to be as conservative as possible with regard to matters financial, seeing the Festival of Lights in Preston, Idaho is a great way to initiate the Christmas season. Not only is it free to the public, but it invites the holiday spirit into our hearts. So if you need to get rid of the humbugs, take a little drive around after Thanksgiving and enjoy the Christmas lights. It always works for me. =)

Return to the Neighborhood

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