The Little Lights Aren’t Twinkling…

If you’re familiar with the movie ‘Christmas Vacation’, you know the scene. Clark Griswold has decorated his house with 25,000 imported lights and has the whole family including the grandparents out on the lawn to watch the grand lighting. Ellen, his wife, leads a drum roll and when Clark connects the cords to light the lights…

Nothing…zip, zero, nada…

After a few seconds of silence, Grandpa Art quips “The little lights, they aren’t twinkling…” To which Clark responds “I know, Art, thanks for noticing.”

Christmas lights are a big part of our holiday traditions. Ever since the kids were little…OK, even before we had kids, we’ve gone out every year to ride around and look at the lights. We started out just visiting nearby subdivisions. As time went on we added trips to places like Callaway Gardens, Lake Lanier Islands and this year the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to see their light displays. Also, we’ve added a few unique local displays which feature either a multitude of lights, light shows choreographed to music or both.

We started this year off on Thanksgiving weekend just up the street from house. Loren and Jenny put on one of the choreographed displays each year. Loren works on his effects and ‘choreography’ for most of the summer then begins the actual set-up the weekend after Halloween. The display usually consists of four to five songs and lasts twelve to fifteen minutes. It’s great fun being able to watch the lights from our front porch and watch car and van loads of people come and go.





Since photos really don’t do his display justice, here’s a link to Loren and Jenny’s Bright on Brittain website for more photos and videos.

OK, I’m sure someone is thinking “Doesn’t that make traffic pretty crazy on your street? How do you get in and out?” Surprisingly, it’s not too crazy most of the time and even on the nights when there are a lot of cars, folks usually behave themselves and are good about not blocking the neighbors in. Also, we’re usually able to adjust our schedules to avoid having to get in and out too often during peak times so we can just sit back and enjoy the show.

Our next stop this year was at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Until a few weeks ago I didn’t know that the ABG even had a light display. We were fortunate to have been given a pair of tickets to go with a group of ConnieLou’s coworkers and friends last Friday night. As one might imagine, Fridays are pretty crowded. I’m not much for crowds but we had a great time.






Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia was our Sunday night stop. We’ve seen the lights at Callaway several times in the past yet it’s always fun to go. There are numerous ‘scenes’ throughout the gardens that can be seen via a driving tour or by riding their ‘Jolly Trolley’. Given that the driving tour is done with the car’s headlights lights off and using only the running lights to see, the driver of the car is usually pretty busy staying focused on where the car is in relation to other cars and the edges of the road. Since I’m usually the driver it’s a no-brainer to me to take the trolley. The downside…the trolley is open-air and if it’s a particularly cold or wet night, you’re likely to get cold and maybe a little wet if you’re sitting near the sides. We’ve been pretty lucky over the years and have only been cold and this year was no different. Hey, its late December, cold is expected… right?





Not all Christmas lights have to be grand in scale or be computer controlled and choreographed to music. Here are photos of a few that we’ve enjoyed close to home.






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