When my sister and I were little, we used to bundle up, grab some hot cocoa, and hop into Aunt Donna's car to drive around in search of the best holiday light displays in central New Jersey. We would listen to Christmas music and drive around for what seemed like hours of fun, ooooh-ing and aaah-ing at all the houses with colorful lights, moving Santas, dashing reindeer and straight up electric jolliness. To this day I can't listen to Bing Crosby's "Mele Kalikimaka" without giggling and thinking fondly of our holiday drives.
When I moved down to Baltimore for college, I discovered that all that spectacle that me, Tricia and Donna used to drive around looking for, existed on one street in Hampden! Miracle on 34th Street brought busloads of tourists down the narrow streets of Hampden to ogle the twinkling lights strung from house to house, lighting up the entire block. It truly is a spectacle so wonderfully tacky that it seemed only Baltimore could pull it off. When I left that little town that could, I knew that I'd miss the brilliant holiday magic that my friends and I had when we would stroll down the street, spiked cocoa in hands on a chilly December evening, but I didn't realize how much I'd miss it. I love cheesy stuff like that and I hate that I can't hop on a bus and head down there to recreate those moments.
Or can I? Turns out there's a magical little land of Christmas amazingness right here in Brooklyn! Though I've known about Dyker Heights for a couple of years now, I've yet to make the trip down to check out all the wonderment in person. Last year I had hoped to get a big group of folks together so we could all bike down there and make a party of it, but it never happened. I'm still bike-less so I can't make that happen this year but, I really really really want to go indulge in some gaudy, energy inefficient, Christmas consumerism. Who's up for a road trip? I'll bring the cocoa, we'll bundle up (or not so much since it feels like it's about 60 degrees out today,) we'll hop on the train or a bus or however you get down to the bottom of Brooklyn and oooh and aaah at all the glittery glitz! I never feel like my holidays are complete until I somehow keep my tradition... so who wants to help me keep the tradition alive?