05 December 2010

Advent Calendar: Outdoor Decorations and The Festival of Lights

December 5 – Outdoor Decorations:  Did people in your neighborhood decorate with lights? Did some people really go “all out” when decorating? Any stories involving your ancestors and decorations?

Travis and Kirsten, Christmas 1992
Resting at Friendship Park

Christmastime in Battle Creek is a wonderful experience.  The city has what is known as, "The International Festival of Lights".  At the completion of the Christmas parade, held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, a switch is flipped and the downtown area is bathed in glorious Christmas colors.  In past years, before the recession, the light displays were spectacular.  The last couple of years haven't been quite as phenomenal, but it still puts me in a Christmas mood when I see them. 

Battle Creek River looking east, Kellogg House is in the background-1992

Sometime during the holiday season we would bundle up the kids and drive downtown to walk along the river and see the light displays.  I always enjoyed going when there was a covering of snow on the ground.  The special displays I enjoy are the 12 Days of Christmas display near the Kellogg House and an international Christmas display near Friendship Park and the river.  The Kellogg World Headquarters is decorated all in red lights.  The top of the building and lines of trees sparkle.

Kellogg's World Headquarter
Christmas 2010
Clara's Restaurant at Christmas 1992

Clara's Restaurant is a favorite stopping place for a hot drink or dessert.  The restaurant is in the old train station and sits on the river.  You can get a window seat and enjoy the lights from indoors.

The street we live on does a nice job with outdoor decorations.  You will see everything from classic lights on the roof line, to icicle lights, to Santa on the roof and a blow up Snoopy Snow Globe.  I like to decorate with white lights only, my husband likes the multi-colored ones. (opposites attract!)  I, or I should say my husband, decorate the bushes in the front of the house and then the roof line.  Wreaths are placed with garland on the front windows.  The front door is draped in lighted garland and 2 topiary trees welcome holiday visitors.  When we had a light post out front, it was decorated with red ribbon to look like a candy cane.  The Christmas Tree in the center of the front window completes the look.  Oh and what color lights are we using this year?  White, of course.

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