Lighting ceremony brightens holiday season |

Lighting ceremony brightens holiday season

Record Courier Staff Reports

Last week, we attended the annual Holiday Decoration Lighting Ceremony, sponsored entirely by our dear friends and neighbors, Mike and Linda.

Mike and Linda have been putting on this event in their front yard a week or so after Thanksgiving every year since we’ve known them, and every year it gets more elaborate.

They put together a delightful spread of holiday goodies and chilly weather drinks, and invite friends and family to their lovely home here in Johnson Lane. It’s not really a potluck because you have to force Linda to let you actually bring anything, but the eating part is getting more elaborate every year as well.

At the preordained moment, we’re all given the command to put down our forks and hot toddies and get into our winter gear, because the timers are set to go off and we don’t want to miss anything.

There is a great flurry of activity as guests bump into one another in their haste to don coats and mittens, and then we are all standing in the street to witness the show as one by one, Mike’s whimsical holiday creations sparkle to life with military precision, falling into line as their individual timers instruct them, earning an “Oooh!” or an “Ahh,” from the small crowd standing in the icy street.

Mike’s daughters call out childhood memories they have of each decoration as it lights up; what year their dad first added it to the collection, recalling the time the ears fell off the Christmas moose, etc; and Linda points out what’s new this year.

And we all think about what will be new next year: a new baby grandson celebrating his first Christmas.

Those of us fortunate enough to be invited back add memories of our own. Remember last year when the dog ran through the “lake” of blue rope lights and knocked a deer right into the “water?”

It’s become a tradition to those of us who know Mike and Linda and even to those who don’t. I remember last year when we’d barely made it back inside to take our coats off and have another toddy before the parade of cars started.

This event has become part of our own holiday tradition. And I have to be honest here. It’s starting to tick me off.

I can’t pretend any more. I’ve tried to put up a front to act like it doesn’t annoy me, but this year really put it over the top. When we left Mike and Linda’s and drove up to our own, dark house, and I saw the car’s headlights splash over the Fourth of July wreath still hanging from our front door, I couldn’t keep it in any longer.

Why can’t we have just one lighted deer who’s neck goes up and down? Just one flashing elf, or rotating Christmas tree? I don’t get it. Its not fair.

Last night, we drove home past a house just like ours. They’d just finished putting up their outdoor decorations, and lovely colored lights were reflected in the sparkling snow. It was beautiful.

“See honey,” I turned to Jim. “That’s what our house would look like if you put lights up!”

He pretended to consider for a moment. “Now I don’t have to. Just take a walk down the street.”

He drove on.

— Pegi Webster writes the Johnson Lane Journal every other week. She can be reached at 267-3820 or e-mail