The good thing about writing about this trip a short while after the event, is that we get to have Christmas twice over!
… On one hand it might have been nice to have posted this in “real time” but reality is that there’s only so much you can get done in a day and after any activities I really needed my afternoon naps more than I needed to be logging on and making blog posts.
My foot is healing well, and slowly but surely gaining back significant strength and flexability but since I’m still without mobility in the area directly below my toes, the crutches are still a frustrating but necessary evil. We tailor our days so that I can have time to elevate my foot, take pain relief and sleep after exercise and so far that’s working well.
My aunt and uncle tell us that there is a house a short drive away that has an amazing display of Christmas lights and decorations and that if we can keep the kids up long enough (it’s summer so darkness falls sometime around 10:30 p.m.) that we should go and enjoy the light show.
Actually they also mentioned that there’s an even bigger one around here somewhere but didn’t know the specific address.
We tried to follow their instructions involving various reference points, rights, lefts and straight-a-heads but since we have a well known penchant for getting lost, it’s hardly a surprise that in the end we gave up driving around in circles and were content with a visit to just one really well decorated house.
The night is warm, it’s now well dark and the festively dressed gentleman owner is outside to welcome people who are loitering on the footpath wanting to look but a little unsure if they should proceed further onto the property.
He assures us that we are all welcome to come up the side path and up to the front window to see it all.
Amazingly many parts of the display are mobile, the little group of deer at the back of the property gently sway their heads, the santa and snowman see-saw actually moves like one, and the myriad of little houses etc that are displayed in the front windows have combinations of winking or changing colour lights, skating, walking or turning figures, and even one with four tiers with trains of decreasing sizes going around on each level.
Around the roof of the house, along the fences and in the trees there are lights, lights and more lights.
I took photographs but they really can’t communicate the amazing atmosphere that was generated around this garden, Christmas music poured softly out of the door of the house and it was lovely.
To be honest, Christmas decorating of this type is only just starting to catch on in the Netherlands, in recent years a few people go all out, often using the limited space that their balconies provide and but mostly people decorate simply or not at all.
We have a set of little lights that we can tape to our front window, and yes you can set them to flash annoyingly, disco style, but we prefer the slow colour change setting.
I’m in two minds… I like the fact that our lights and others like them bring a little cheer into a dark and cold winter street…
…some of the decorations inject a little brightness and humour and as a parent the game of “spotting” these lights in house windows or balconies is brilliant for distracting grumpy, fighting children who are sitting in the car, tired out at the end of long days of whirlwind of pre-Christmas events …but sometimes when the various bits are thrown together they can look a bit disjointed and tacky.
I like “tat”and “kitch” sometimes but in severe moderation… and I can never quite put my finger on why I might like one decoration and say ”ooh, that’s sweet” and then go “um, maaaybe not” or “over my dead body” to the next.
Like most things in life, personal preference is everything.
Most of these bits and pieces are cute…but maybe the piled up soft toys (I didn’t take a photo) or the parachuting Santa were a step too far?
One item tried to be cute but looked a bit strange to me… a blow-up Santa inside a plastic blow-up ball, it as supposed to be a snow-globe, was plugged in and there were zillions of tiny polystyrene balls being blown around inside it …
…but I thought it looked like Santa was trapped inside a plastic bubble since you could hardly see the tiny balls and they certainly didn’t show up in my photos.
All in all though this was an amazing display and I loved it, the atmosphere was really magical and people were stopping and coming for a look from far and wide.
I talked to the owner of the house and he said that it took weeks and weeks of preperation, but that when he saw the smiles on people’s faces it was all worth it.
I certainly appreciated his hard work… the photos don’t really do it justice… it’s magical!
This Santa is huge! (it’s tied to a fence that about 1.8 m / 6 feet tall)
I think these are kitch… but cute. What do you think?