Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Day 5 Outdoor Decorations

I loved Christmas lights as a kid and I still do. Today, living in an apartment, we really have no place to put outdoor lights. But when I was a kid, no matter where my family lived (we moved a lot), Dad would always hang outside lights around the porch and front window and doorway.

Dad would also pick a night and we would drive around the area looking at the lights at night. Penn Street, the main street of the city, would have all the shops decorated and lit. There was the city's Christmas Tree all lit up in the traffic circle that used to sit at 5th and Penn. You could see the animated displays in the windows of Pomeroy's Department Store at 6th and Penn Sts.  For several blocks on North 9th Street (off Penn St.) lit garlands crossed overhead from street lamp to street lamp. It was like driving under a canopy of lights.

We'd drive through the ritzy neighborhoods where the decorations were discrete, tasteful amd pretty. And we'd cruise through the working class neighborhoods where more is more and colors were bright and twinkling. Those were the homes with the lit figures on the lawns and 3 story row homes covered in lights and Santa with his reindeer and sleigh sitting on the rooftops. Some of the displays would leave Dad chuckling "I wouldn't want to have to pay THAT electric bill!".

But the climax of the drive was always driving past Christmas Village. Christmas Village is a local holiday tourist attraction. You drive along on a dark unlit country road. Finally you crest a hill and in the valley before you is a village decorated with over half a million lights! That view as you crest the hill is the most magical part. So we would never stop and actually park and pay to go in (Dad would have rather spent that money on more gifts for us), but we always wanted to see it lit up as we drove past. And yup, Dad would be chuckling "I wouldn't want to have to pay THAT electric bill!".

Go to and watch the intro to see what we saw as we crested the hill at Koziar's Christmas Village.

1 comment:

  1. I checked out the link - you are right, that's pretty spectacular. Your description of the two different types of neighborhoods reminds me of some of the Christmas decorations we saw when my husband's parents still lived in Brooklyn and we went to visit them around Christmastime. Spinning wheels of lights, blinking signs, you name it.