December 22, 2012 8:15:42 PM
I wanted to write a silly column -- something slightly funny, something light. This is not an easy thing to do since our entire country is in mourning. However, there have been a few bright spots this week, perhaps leaning toward the inane, but maybe just what was needed.
A few days after the horror in Sandy Hook, my neighbors called to ask if Chris and I wanted to take a ride to see Christmas lights. Oh, yes; a wonderful idea!
We began the tour in our Southside neighborhood. Most Columbians opt for an understated display of very tasteful wreaths and small white lights. Lovely; however, not exactly mirth-inducing.
A few things did strike us as weird.
Evidently, Mickey Mouse is considered a part of traditional holiday décor. Some version of Mickey and Minnie appeared in many tableaus. At this time of year, he often wears a Santa hat, or suit. He is ubiquitous; sometimes in a red bumper car, sometimes in the manger.
I was not amused with the "whack a penguin" inflatable, where a Polar Bear bops tuxedo-clad birds that pop out of holes in a chimney. But, the men on our tour found this hilarious.
Who knew that the Eiffel Tower was connected to this holiday? Surprisingly, we saw more than one, tall and glittering, on lawns, sharing the scene with more conventional decorations. Bizarre perhaps, but I want one.
Maybe we just really needed to laugh. For some reason (no, we were not drinking spiked nog), the image of the sheep in front of Memorial Funeral Home, gnawing on baby Jesus' plastic fingers sent us into fits of hysterical laughter. It is evident that the animals are not hungry, because there was a cabbage and lots of hay for them to chew. Oh well, it seems that a bite or two of petroleum-based material did no harm -- not to the sheep, anyway.
We drove to Caledonia, where lots of people had lighted deer, angels and crèches. At one lawn I said, "Look, those deer are not plugged in." Just then the two shadowy deer rose from their resting place and walked slowly into the woods. Magical.
There were lots of live deer to be seen on this adventure. On Ridge Road, in front of a charming church, a handsome buck with wide antlers grazed with three graceful and elegant does. It looked like a Christmas card image. But, we had no camera.
Nothing amused us quite as much as the New Hope display that was coordinated with holiday music that we could tune in on our car's radio. There is not enough space to explain the entire spectacle, but here are a few high points. Snowmen sang along with the tunes, a band of jazzy Santas played instruments; of course, there was a crèche. The high point was a tall tree that flashed lights of red, blue, and green in rhythmic response to the carols. It seemed to dance with ribbons of color and unexpected patterns, twisting and twinkling under its spinning star.
This week I also had a surprise visit from a friend who does not want her name in the paper. That is rare. Most people like to see their name in print, especially since I only say nice things. Miss Anonymous brought cookies baked using recipes from The Dispatch, and a lavender-scented candle made by local artisan, Chris McDill. Thank you, Christmas elf!
So, to all my readers I say, "Merry Christmas, Mele Kalikimaka, Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova, and Feliz Navidad." No matter if you celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, or Kwanzaa, I send you all my best wishes for peace, in the entire world, and in our little part of the world.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.