‘Tis the Season

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.05.48 AMImage courtesy of Dominick. Licensed under CC.

I have a deep and abiding fondness for Christmas lights. They’re silly and a little bit tacky and I am completely, totally into it in the same way that I’m totally in to cheesy Christmas music and space photography. It’s been established in my life that I would be bad at working retail on approximately 8000 levels (I make small talk like someone who has recently been hit in the head and blush profusely when spoken to), but I would happily listen to Wham and Maria Carey 6 months out of the year.

As a result of my Christmas light enthusiasm, I’ve been tickled  to drive past the Atlanta Botanical Gardens each day on my way out of the neighborhood. The Botanical Gardens, realizing that it’s a hard sell to pull people in to look at plants in the middle of winter, have branched out into a winter wonderland sort of thing. Their entire grounds are covered in gigantic Christmas lights, hung from the tops (and middles and bottoms) of trees. As I drive past every night, it has been dark enough that the trees the lights are hung on are rendered invisible–so it looks as if the lights are suspended in the air. The drive-by experience is a little bit like what I imagine a really lovely acid trip to be like.

Busy as I’ve been on the weekends, I haven’t gotten the chance to actually see the exhibit this year. However, the neighborhood residents near where I’ve been volunteering have been bringing their Christmas light A-game, as well. Most folks haven’t gone YouTube musical light video crazy–instead, there’s two streets that are strung across from tree to tree with these giant balls of Christmas lights (like Chinese lanterns). They continue down one street and then hook a left, following the way that I drive home. I think they’re completely delightful, and have to keep reminding myself to look at the road rather than the lights so that I don’t take out some nice person’s car/cat/tree.

Christmas lights reward my weird working hours (all evenings, all the time)–when I see them during the week they’re lit up and lovely. I went back to the street with the lanterns on a post-brunch Sunday morning, and I could hardly even see the wire frames hung from the tree. The lights are basically invisible when the sun is out.

I’ve got two weeks until the end of the year, and most of that time will be spent out and about in the evening hours. I’m excited to stumble on other lights before they head back out for the year.

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