I don't decorate for Christmas. Don't get me wrong -- I love me some Christmas decorations and Christmas lights, but I don't do it, myself. I'm of the "I live alone -- why bother?" mindset, and that suits me just fine. I do enjoy the efforts of others, however.
I went to a Christmas party last night at a friend's house. She lives in a Very Nice Neighborhood in the far west end, you know, one of those neighborhoods with the Huge Houses, and every street in the neighborhood has the same name, except with "Way" or "Drive" or "Circle" or "Terrace" to differentiate them. A neighborhood where every single neighbor decorates their home with Christmas lights and an electric candle and a wreath in each window. Where there's at least one neighbor that goes a little crazy with the lights. But, crazy in a holiday-spirit kind of way. (At least there was no inflatable Grinch on their lawn; it was tasteful and fun, and definitely not tacky enough to make the official tour***. )
So, on my way home, I lingered in front of the festive house and took a few pictures, to see how my well my camera does with night shots. Not too bad, for the most part. Some of the pictures not shown here came out a bit blurry, which is understandable, as I was shooting from my car window without benefit of a tripod. But here are a few of the better shots, to give you a sense of the decorations, (click any picture to make bigger):
Grand Illumination. I always enjoy driving by the lit-up buildings while on the Downtown Expressway. And the display in front of the James Center is also quite nice. In years past they've had a huge gingerbread house inside the James Center -- I wonder if they have that this year? I love gingerbread houses, but they always make me hungry. ;-)
***Speaking of Richmond's Tacky Lights Tour, looks like our little local tradition is going to be televised on TLC (The Learning Channel) -- how cool is that?! Look for it on Dec. 16th at 1 pm, or Christmas Eve at 3 pm. You can also see a slideshow of the tour here, and watch videos of some of the featured houses here, here and here.
Local radio stations have contests that give away stretch limo rides to see the Tacky Lights Tour. I've always wanted to do that, and a couple years ago got the opportunity when a friend's father won tickets. Definitely, a festive way to appreciate the holidays. But if one is not interested in spending three hours driving all over town to see Christmas lights, there's always the Gardenfest of Lights at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden -- one-stop shopping, as it were. It is a walk-through, rather than drive-through exhibit, so dress weather-appropriately.