One tradition of Christmas that I love to this day is driving around looking at homes decorated with festive Christmas lights. I’ve lived in a few cities throughout my life, and I have always found the neighborhoods which banded together to bring Christmas cheer to the community.
I’m thankful to say that Rocklin has at least one such neighborhood.
My good friends Jason and Heather live about a mile from me, and within a few blocks of some winding streets which apparently have quite a reputation for getting their Christmas on. Jason and Heather had family over this past Saturday, as tradition dictates, and then they all go for a stroll down to look at the lights. They invited me to join them, and I was eager to participate.
We got to the part of the neighborhood where the homes were lit up like the Vegas strip. It was awesome! Evidently, the homeowner’s association all but requires people to participate. And boy, do they! We saw houses with a variety of themes to them. Many featured Disney movie themes, some feature Charlie Brown and his pals. We saw several nativity scenes. We even saw one which had several wooden snowmen on the lawn which depicted them playing baseball. Many of them had Boston Red Sox hats or jerseys on them, so that particular family’s allegiance was not hard to discern.
There was one home that featured The Beatles on their front lawn. But to me, what took the cake was the home with Marilyn Monroe prominently placed at the top-center of the roof under bright lights and a rotating color light ball. As you can see, it was Marilyn’s classic pose from the movie The Seven Year Itch. I’m not sure that this particular image will crack into the top Christmas icons for the ages, but I have to say, it was unique.
It was a great night. Many of the homeowners pull out their portable fire pits right on to their driveways, round up a bunch of chairs, and just watch the people walk and drive by. There were hundreds and hundreds of people walking through the neighborhoods. Everyone having a great time, everyone festive and behaving appropriately. No one was in a hurry. It wasn’t too cold. It really was a perfect night for this.
I was rather shocked to see the number of limousines parading the streets, with people of all ages hanging out the windows to take in the sights. There were also countless cars with small children standing in cars and SUVs taking in the view through open sunroofs, a la Dino from The Flintstones. From what I understand, people drive from as much as 45 minutes away to come visit this neighborhood.
As a big kid, I love living in a community which celebrates the season. Many people I passed that night were not afraid to say, “Merry Christmas.” I have to admit, it almost catches me by surprise these days. I don’t expect everyone to celebrate the religious origins of Christmas, but I’m happy when I see people unafraid to use the term which has almost become controversial. It is Christmas, after all.
I love Christmas. I love Christmas traditions. You can bet that taking a stroll through this neighborhood will be part of my Christmas activities as long as I live here.