Thursday, December 13, 2007


Yes, there is simply no end to the creative ways people have found to celebrate Advent. For example; The Heights (scene of White Linen Nights in August) has Lights in the Heights, where entire neighborhoods decorate their homes with lights.

The houses are even judged, then one night (last Saturday) they had a neighborhood wide open house on the streets.

Each block has a one house with a band playing on the porch (Bernie and I danced a nice little fox trot together here).

Cookies are on tables out front...
...and the curb is lit up with luminaries stretching as far as the eye can see.
People filled the streets, strolling and visiting, and then...
A neighborhood parade began.

The dragon art car was my favorite.
Swing dancing anyone? These couples really had some wild moves, and each couple did a solo number too.
This house was amazing. How many motifs about Advent/Christmas can you see? Oh wait...the event is called "Lights in the Heights", it is about lights, electric lights, not The Light....
Pretty though. Just wanted to clarify what was going on here.

My co-worker Olia and her husband Bill were kind enought to invite the library staff to their home in the Heights. It was great to be able to park by their house, enjoy appetizers and mingles, then walk to the main display street.
It was 82 degrees by the way...shorts and tee shirts kind of weather....whew!

Then yesterday I started my *serious* Christmas shopping. The temperatures were dropping, and I needed a little Ho Ho Ho in my mojo. The mall is not my favorite place to be.

So...on the way to the mall I stopped by the east campus of Second Baptist (last that I heard it is the biggest single congregation in the USA each Sunday. They meet in four enormous buildings and the pastor speaks at one and the rest get a live feed to it.)

Each of the campuses are having a gingerbread house display. The various Sunday School classes and groups agreed to be assigned the task of re-creating one of the houses in Colonial Williamsburg in gingerbread.

There were two very large rooms filled with the houses.
What a wonderful scent!

Some were even decorated inside too.

They were each labeled with the name of the house, and a hand out gave the individual history of the Williamsburg house: who the original owner was, and how they fit into Williamsburg's history. Notice the little person peeking out the door!
There were ladies available to guide you through the village and to answer questions.

This was just one little part of the display. You can see that each house had a label with a bit of the history on a sign in the "snow" in front of the house.

I especially liked this door. I'm sure it isn't what is actually on the door in the house in Willamsburg though.
(And I have to say it...witnessing with waffles? Oy veh! And I got raise eyebrows for lighting Hanukkah candles?)
There are several huge gingerbread house displays in the Houston area. I hope to go see the ones down town in a hotel that are set up as an old western town display with cowboys shooting it out with the Indians. How Texas is that???
So tell me: What are you doing today to get into the Christmas Spirit?
What ever it is, I hope you are having fun!


Vicki said...

Oh, what fun! With any luck, we'll move to your area and we can do this together! Doesn't look like Texas is in the running, however... :(

Thanks for taking us around with you. The gingerbread houses are incredible.

What am I doing to get in the Christmas spirit? My life is so topsy-turvy right now that I'm not sure I can find that Christmas spirit! Actually, I think I'm going to jump in the car and pick up the last couple of gifts and pull out the gift wrap, put on a Christmas CD, and maybe brew up some hot apple cider. Maybe I'll buy myself a Santa hat and see if that helps...

Lovella ♥ said...

Oh those houses were just amazing. Those ladies were to keep you from tasting.

Today we are going to a luncheon for our industry. It's always really nice to see other farmers and catch up a bit with what each others families are doing.
Somehow I always really enjoy it, even if I do have to figure out how to eat and hold a drink at the same time. (who invented stand up affairs)

Kathy said...

Jill, This was my first Hanukkah celebration - on line with you and Bernie (and one time your daughter on the cell phone. Thank you!

Seeing the band on the porch remindes me what different climates we live in. Feels like Christmas and summer all mixed together. We wouldn't have as much fun in the rain here - but snow would be great. It looks like a really good time.

Speaking of weather and feelings - my girls feel like it's just not Christmas unless it's rainy. WHAT - that's their childhood expereiences. Me, it's snow. But regardless, Jesus has his birthday and we celebrate.

Kathy said...

Me again. I forgot to answer the question. To get in the Christmas spirit I am sewing dolly clothes and getting packages ready to send to Alberta. While I do this I'm going to break open my new Bebo Norman Christmas CD and have a listen.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

That was a fun tour! The lit up Lights in the Heights (complete with green rollerskating elf in striped tights), and the Willamsburg gingerbread houses. I've never seen such nicely constructed gingerbread houses. It must have been really amazing in person.

We did a little Christmas shopping yesterday. The malls were not crowded at all - that was unexpected. The decorations were pretty.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of an entire neighborhood opening their homes to complete strangers, just to be festive and hospitable for the holidays! Also, the gingerbread house show is a wonderful witness to the community. Can you imagine how many people that got to visit the church? I love it when churches do community outreach that is artistic and thinks outside the box like that.

hmmm....the Christmas spirit, I'd have to say for me, now that Chanukah is over, it's all about listening to my favorite Christmas cds. I love Amy Grant's Christmas CD, and I just got Josh Groban's new one. Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole are always up there too.

Anonymous said...

We like to decorate the cat. See how many bows he will tolerate. See how long he'll keep the Santa Hat on. You know, sing We Wish You A Meowzee Christmas...

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness, Jill. I didn't recognize you. I was one of the other guides yesterday. If I had realized that it was you, I would have talked your head off and monopolized you. I have missed you so much. I am so glad you came to the display! Oh....I'm Lin. You used to see me a couple of years ago when you first went to be a librarian over at North Harris. Now, I am at Kingwood. Are you still over there? Contact me. Lin

Kate said...

I dunno. 82 just doesn't feel like Christmas to me! Here it is 1 C. more like it, but I've been stuck inside packing boxes. Fa la la la la. No energy worries in The Heights, I guess. Will be Stateside soon. Bye bye Switzerland! K Q:-)