I kind of dig Christmas lights, even though I never put up anything more avant garde than a medium sized, dignified Christmas wreath, myself. I don’t see the payoff. That’s not to say I don’t like looking at Christmas light displays. Quite the contrary! My immediate neighborhood in VA has been pretty muted when it comes to giant Christmas light displays. I’ve seen some ambitious setups over the years, some of them taking up palatial city blocks, some more inspired than others. Displays come and go, and the technology changes constantly– from the lit-from-within plastic nativity scenes and Santa and reindeer from my childhood (and those bigass indoor/outdoor bulbs.. nobody uses them any more) to today’s giant blowup vinyl figures, laser lighting, projection backgrounds, and computer controlled dancing lights. It’s like keeping up with an arms race. So, yeah, I think it’s kind of trippy to look at, but Christmas is more internalized in my case. With that said, I was kind of missing finding a giant, goofy, everything with the kitchen sink included Christmas light show this year– people come and go as well, and their tastes (and energy levels) change over the years. The guy on the corner of my street who used to put so much work into these things has grown up kids now, and he gave them most of his “old stuff” .. and just throws an indifferent strand or two of lights up now. People move on. SO.. when Audrey called me up from my man-cave the other night (like, almost a week after Christmas) and said “Come with me, no questions“, I wasn’t expecting… THIS.
Pretty amazing. What wasn’t amazing was reading the following posts in our neighborhood page on Facebook:
Well… Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! A group came through over night and destroyed the pipe stem Christmas display on (street name). If your kids were out all night asked them about it. With as many cameras we have around these days, they must be pretty damn stupid.
Yes, they are referencing the lights you see in the video above. The vandals struck, literally, the night after we visited. The neighborhood group who decorates is every house in a pipe stem not too far away from where I live.
Now, I know it’s probably the work of bored, nasty entitled teenagers who probably think that a little vandalism is perfectly okay as a nihilistic “statement” of some kind, but it really makes me angry to see this kind of thing. I sincerely hope there were houses with security cameras running that night, and they have something they can offer to the police.
With that, Happy New Year.