One of my Christmas traditions is walking out to the street on Christmas morning to see if there are any kids riding new bikes. I have to tell you, it’s been a while since I’ve seen any. It’s true there aren’t as many children on our street as there were 20 years ago, but there are some, and once again this year, I didn’t see any bikes. None of the many news reports on how today’s kids just stay inside and play video games bears witness to the truth like this admittedly unscientific survey. Which is a shame, because there are some really cool bikes out there today. When I was young, waking up Christmas morning and finding a shiny new bike waiting was just about the epitome of giftdom. It was impact on two wheels. And you had a better-than-fair chance of wheeling out the door and finding at least a couple of friends in a similar state of newly-enhanced mobility. And mobility was what we had. As they say, it was a different time. I would take long rides all over south Jackson and beyond, and I don’t remember ever telling my mother I was going. I remember once riding halfway to Raymond, a distance of maybe 10 miles, without ever mentioning that I would be gone all afternoon. (Note to my kids – no, I would not have been cool with you doing this!) Regardless, next Christmas morning I’ll be out there, looking up and down the street to see if there’s a new bike being wheeled about. Hope, as they say, springs eternal.
I love Christmas lights. I guess it’s the little kid in me, but each year I spent a good deal of time putting up lights and other outdoor decorations. Not to the point that it makes the evening news, but enough that I enjoy them. I set up automatic timers that turn on the lights at dusk, so I get to see them when I come home in the evening. For years, I decorated a small crabapple tree by the front fence with crystal ornaments, but the tree died last year, and it’s replacement hasn’t grown to the point I could decorate it, so the ornaments are getting a year off. Here’s the result of my decorating this Christmas:
I decorate the arbor over the front walk with red ornaments and bows to give a splash of color:
And I illuminate my bottle tree by feeding white lights inside the bottles. I like the effect:
Here’s the effect after dark:
Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I like ’em!