Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Advent Calendar - December 5, 2007

Outdoor Decorations

Did people in your neighborhood decorate with lights? Did some people really go “all out” when decorating?

Here is a brief summary of contributions from fellow bloggers and links to their individual posts:

The Great Depression and World War II had a big influence on holiday decorations according to Terry at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi. In Outdoor Decorations he recalls the first time that his parents placed lights on a tree in the front yard.

In Putting the House on Show by Jessica at Jessica's GeneJournal, she tells of houses that really went "all out" when it came to outdoor decorations.

Oh Apple Tree, O Apple Tree! has Bill of West in New England contending that decorating the outside of your house for the holidays has become a "blood sport."

Steve at Steve's Genealogy Blog has a wonderfully written tale of his father's efforts at putting up outdoor decorations on a windy day one year. Read Dad Strings the Outside Lights and you'll see what I mean.

Another unbelievable display called Lightfest in Western Wayne County, Michigan is what Jasia writes about at Creative Gene. In Holiday Lights in Our Neighborhood she also talks about outdoor lights and how they've changed over time.

Now we go north to Alaska (wasn't that a song?) to hear Miriam at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors recall how outdoor decorations really didn't exist in her neck of the woods. In Outdoor Decorations she also mentions her favorite time to view them: when there has been a fresh snow.

Well Apple has really outdone herself this time as she presents Christmas Lights posted at Apple's Tree. Not only does she remember the Oxylights at Niagara Falls but she also has a video from the Lights on the Lake festival in Syracuse.

In Rudolph, the Big Big Reindeer at Destination: Austin Family, I not only talk about outdoor decorations in California but also bring you the concept of a decorated, fully lit 30-foot tree growing through the roof of a house!

Ugly Christmas lights? Could there be such a thing? Well Becky presents Outdoor Decorations posted at kinexxions and tells us, "Yes Virginia, there are ugly christmas lights." But she also talks about the importance of putting up outdoor lights even if no one else sees them except you and your family.

Lisa at 100 Years in America has a great post concerning bringing the outdoors indoors during the Christmas season. In Wheat on the Table, Straw on the Floor, she pays homage to how her family would do this with pine branches, wheat, corn, apples and straw.

In Decorated houses posted at Love Santa from down south in Australia, newcomer Santa's Elf poses this question: is decorating your house on the outside for you and your family, or for people passing?

Randy presents Outdoor Decorations and recounts how he never really put up outdoor decorations. Posted at Genea-Musings, you can hear him also talk of elaborate neighborhood displays that even the Griswold's would envy.

Outdoor Christmas decorations take on a different flavor when you move from Niagara Falls, New York to Tempe, Arizona as Colleen mentions at The Oracle of OMcHodoy. In Let There Be Light she also raves about a lifesaver invention: a Christmas light hanging toolkit!

In Deck the Halls with Boughs of Cuileann at A Light that Shines Again, Lisa (again - show off!) discusses the roots of using holly and mistletoe during the holidays. This is a fascinating post on the symbolism of these greens and their meaning.

Diane at CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt' presents Outdoor Decorations. Besides outdoor lights, she remembers windows decorated by children using sprayed-on snow (remember that?) and paper decorations.

Lori presents Outdoor Decorations posted at Smoky Mountain Family Historian. While she enjoys looking at outdoor light displays, she thinks that a simple wreath on the door and the lighted tree in the window are just as good.

And finally, the Festival of Northern Lights from Owen Sound, Ontario is described in December 5 - Outdoor Decorations at Janet: the researcher. Just as in other city-sponsored light displays, the lights are fantastic and check out the festival's web cam at night to see the live show!

Well we've been holding steady at about 12 - 13 people posting each day for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories but today we hit a high of 15! Sounds like Chicago's weather forecast for tomorrow - I kid you not. And the posts keep getting better and better - some of us are trying to outdo each other now, adding slide shows, video, double-posting . . . sort of like an outdoor decoration competition, no?

Check back tomorrow for more submissions on the next topic: Santa Claus

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