Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tacky Light Tours

In our neck of the woods, one can rent a stretch limo and view the best light displays in town. With a television displaying crackling fire and an endless supply of hot chocolate, one could have a three-hour tour for right around $400.

I decided to take the cheap route. I printed a map of the best light displays from, loaded my kids in the car, and turned the radio to a local station playing Christmas music all day long until December 25th.

Most of the houses were fun to look at, but nothing took my breath away until we arrived at our last stop – a mother-son team who had more than 500,000 lights strung between their neighboring houses. The son, who begins hanging lights in September, has some displays (like this traffic signal tree) that I’ve never seen before.

My kids and I got out of the car and walked around, giddy and giggling. Dozens of other families were there and everyone was smiling and pointing at one wonder after another. In that moment, we were all little kids. It was truly magical.

Do you have a tacky light house near you? Do you love them or hate them?


Keith Raffel said...

JB, is it worth a trip? What's the closest airport?

jbstanley said...

Of course it's worth the trip! Not because of the lights, but because my husband's annual wine shipment just arrived.

G.M. Malliet said...

500,000 lights? Um, ok, as long as they're environmentally friendly lights.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Not sure about the lights, but I'd love the limo trip with fake fire and hot chocolate. Sign me up!

One of my favorite light displays is those seen from a boat tour in the Newport Beach Harbor. Also the boat parade is so cool.

But one of the most ostentatious, wasteful and vulgar holiday light displays I've ever seen is the Trinity Broadcasting Headquarters in Costa Mesa, CA. Even when CA was in the midst of its huge energy crisis, they lit up their grounds like it was daylight, and incurred public criticism and scorn for it. They didn't bat an eye. Seriously, you'd have to see it to believe it.

Lisa Bork said...

We have lots of light displays, but one woman in particular steals the show on Halloween and Christmas. We wouldn't miss driving by her house every year before both holidays.

Cricket McRae said...

The traffic light tree is great! I love the idea of a tacky light tour, too. I'll be checking out that website.

jbstanley said...

You can actually buy those traffic lights. This guy sells them for $50 apiece. My son told me he wanted one for Christmas. I asked him how he'd feel about a nice lump of coal.