Tag Archives: Christmas

Great War Wednesday: The Christmas Truce of 1914

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The London Times from January 9, 1915: “British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches”

“Had he and I but met
      By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
      Right many a nipperkin!

     “But ranged as infantry,
     And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
     And killed him in his place.

     “I shot him dead because —
     Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
     That’s clear enough; although

   “He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
   Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
   No other reason why.

    “Yes; quaint and curious war is!
    You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
    Or help to half-a-crown.”

Thomas Hardy’s “The Man He Killed”

Men in their natural state show little inclination to go off and kill one another. The taboo against homicide is so ingrained within us that those who would be soldiers have to undergo desensitization to killing and interestingly enough, one key way of doing this is using violent video games, but that’s a post for another time. As a society we have labels for those who like to kill or enjoy killing or aren’t even bothered by killing. We call them psychopaths or sociopaths or simply “monsters.” Some studies of combat troops have found as many as 1 in 5 soldiers never fired their weapons during battles in which they participated. It seems despite all the sensational novels and television shows, even in the face of The Fall and our broken human natures, enough of God’s image remains within most people to cause severe distaste and discomfort when faced with taking the life of another Image-bearer of our Creator. Few events throughout history show this proclivity towards peace more clearly than the spontaneous Christmas Truce of 1914.

Ever since August, Tommy, Pierre, and Fitz had been killing one another on an industrial scale from the border of Switzerland to the English Channel. What began as a war of movement now degraded into a stagnant morass of trench warfare with misery compounded by machine gun fire. By the time Yuletide came around, men on all sides realized they had been lied to — the war certainly would NOT be over by Christmas. So it was along the Western Front as the troops hunkered down in their muddy trenches on December 24, 1914 and prepared to spend the most miserable Christmas Eve of their lives cold, damp, and utterly devoid of cheer. Then, something changed.

By most accounts, the Germans started the affair up around Ypres by singing Christmas hymns and lighting candles. As the strains of “Stille Nacht, Heil’ge Nacht” drifted across the shell-pocked moonscape of No-Man’s Land, a few adventuresome Brits climbed atop their trenches to listen and then join in. When they didn’t tumble back into the trench with holes through their heads from snipers, more soldiers climbed out of their burrows to join in the singing.

At some point, accounts say, some German lad attached a bit of white cloth to the top of a small evergreen tree, climbed out of his trench, and walked towards the British.  When he didn’t fall to an Enfield round, more of his comrades joined him. The Brits, realizing this wasn’t a ruse, climbed out and the two erstwhile enemies met in the midst of the barbed wire and shell holes between their trenches.

Their first action was to gather up the dead, some of whom had been lying unattended for weeks, and carry them back to the rear for proper burials. That grim work accomplished, the two groups began some tentative conversations and the spirit of Christmas took over from there. The troops began exchanging small gifts — the English had a surfeit of tobacco; the Germans an abundance of chocolate — so these two commodities rapidly changed hands. Some men exchanged caps or buttons or whatever trinkets seemed to interest the other party. They sang more carols together. In some places up and down the front a game or two of football — soccer for the Yanks — broke out. As the old cliche’ says, “a grand time was had by all.” Then, some hours after the festivities began, it ended. Both sides embraced and returned to their trenches with the knowledge they would soon begin the unsavory work of trying to kill one another anew.

Officers on both sides were appalled by the impromptu ceasefire. They knew actually meeting the enemy and seeing he had a regular face and neither horns nor fangs made killing said “enemy” much more difficult. Orders went up and down the chain of command. The Christmas Truce of 1914 would be the last for the duration of the war. The enlisted were threatened with court-martial or worse should any of them be so silly as to attempt such a humane action ever again. The old men who send the young men to fight and die for the wars the old men started had spoken.

Still, for a brief shining moment in the midst of Satan’s playground, the Prince of Peace reigned supreme. The joy of Christmas stopped the mouths of the artillery and silenced the bark of rifles, if only for a time, proving for anyone who cared to ponder on the topic that peace is stronger than war if only men would embrace the light.

Love y’all and Merry Christmas! Keep those feet clean during these celebrations.

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And So This Is Christmas

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A_Christmas_CarolI just finished watching my favorite version of A Christmas Carol. In this rendition, Captain Jean Luc Picard plays the part of Scrooge and brings such a weightiness and excellent acting to the part that I tape the version each year to watch on Christmas Eve. As I told a friend of mine while chatting on Facebook tonight, I believe Dickens’ novella is the greatest story of a man finding redemption to be had outside the pages of the Bible. He starts the movie a hard-hearted miserly old . . . well, SCROOGE, but four ghosts later, he is a changed man who knows the meaning of Christmas isn’t presents or even family. The true meaning of Christmas is redemption.

Scrooge can find redemption for the same reason we all can, because a little over two thousand years ago, God was born in the flesh to a teenage virgin girl huddled with her betrothed in a dank odoriferous cave converted into a makeshift stable behind a cheap motel in the backwater town of Bethlehem in the equally backwater region of Palestine. That girl then wrapped God — creator of the Universe — in clean, but frayed cloths and laid Him in a feed trough and probably sang Him to sleep. Royal robes to old rags; angelic choir to a mother’s lullaby. All so that He could undo the tremendous mess His most prized creation had gotten the world into. He came as a baby with one purpose in sight — to die on a cross and save the world. Everyone born WILL die; He was born TO die . . . and save us all.

Atheists, scientists, other religions’ leaders down the centuries have tried to disprove that teenage girl ever had a child named Jesus. They’ve tried through time to say He never existed, and when they failed in that, they tried to say He existed, but He wasn’t God. I think they’ve failed at that as well.

See, the name of the holiday (holiday = holy day) is Christmas. Literally, that means Mass of Christ. Now I’m not going into all the theological historical arguments about Christmas being a usurpation of the pagan Saturnalia and Jesus not being born in December. I know all of those arguments and if you insist on hashing them out, give me an email in the comments and we’ll talk. Now, back to the name. A mass is a celebration so Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ. It’s right there in the name.

The name isn’t “Toymas.”

It’s not “Santamas”

It’s not “Treemas” or “Partymas” or “Frostymas.”

It’s not called “Shoppingmas” or “Retailmas” or “Giftmas.”

We don’t sing about “O Shopping Night” or “The First Black Friday.”

We don’t because no matter how much the rising tide of secularization tries to wash away anything Christian to do with Christmas, they haven’t thought to change the name. They’ve tried a time or two. Years ago it started with “Seasons’ Greetings” and today the most PC among us go with “Happy Holidays” (again:  holiday = holy day). Christmas is still on the calendar though. The name of the Federal holiday (holy day) is “Christmas” and not “Winter Holiday.”

The Roman Empire was one of the mightiest political entities ever. They tried to kill the holiday in the womb and stamp out Christianity, but they couldn’t get it done. Neither could Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, or Mao and they ALL had more power than any of our Presidents have ever possessed.

Every gift you run around buying? You are constantly reenacting a central part of the Christmas story — the Magi bringing gifts to the Christ child. Every scrap of “holiday” music you listen to from Halloween to December 26th? Reenacting the angelic host announcing to the shepherds the birth of the Christ child. Wrapping all those gifts? Just like Mary wrapped our ultimate gift.

So try to stamp it out. Try to humbug it like Scrooge did, but at the end of it all, despite the best efforts of generation after generation of genuises, the message of Christmas is still Christ is Born. To quote the greatest showman wrestler of all time, Mr. Richard Fleer, aka Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair, “Whether you LIKE it, or DON’T LIKE it, sit down and LOOK at it, because it’s the best thing going today!”

Can I get a “whooooo?”

Love y’all, keep those feet clean, and Merry Christmas.

 

Forget the Mayans; REAL Evidence of the Apocalypse

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Proof positive we are a country of lunatics.

Proof positive we are a country of lunatics.

Folks, lots of people out “there” are completely convinced the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. If correct, we’ve got about 15 days left to go. Personally, I think these guys have the facts straight, but that’s not the point of this post. I’m now convinced the world is coming to an end sooner than later and it’s not because an ancient (and dead) civilization brilliant enough to follow the stars but too dense to invent the wheel says so. I’m also not worried about the polar bears or the end of the Gulf Stream because we aren’t going to live long enough for that to happen. No, gentle readers, I am convinced the world is going to end before schedule because America, the land I love, has been taken over by bands of raving lunatics and, no, I don’t mean Republicans. I am talking about “collectors” in general and collectors of Hallmark “Keepsake” Ornaments in particular.

Budge and I buy a few ornaments from Hallmark each year before Christmas. We seldom buy more than three and we always buy at least one based around the year being prominently displayed. We’ve done this ever since we’ve been married and we’ve got a beautiful collection of ornaments for our tree. Now this year was the first season in four years we’ve put up our tree, and I’ll tell that story soon, but not now. In celebration, we splurged on a couple more ornaments than usual. Now understand, every ornament we have in our three Rubbermaid 55 Quart Snap Top Tubs goes on our tree. We don’t buy “extra” ornaments for an “investment” because they are “collectable.”  If I want an investment, they make these things called “stocks and bonds.” Unfortunately for our country, I may have to change that philosophy.

One ornament we picked up this year was a miniature replica of the “Moose Mug” prominently featured in the Christmas classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Any killjoy Scrooges in the crowd, please keep your comments to yourselves as I am well aware the movie contains crude humor and bright blue language; the fact is, I don’t care. The movie is hysterical and a lot closer to the modern American Christmas than It’s a Wonderful Life ever was. I also happen to know Christmas Vacation is the favorite Christmas movie of my 1st-cousin-in-law Ashley, who not only is one of the purest, sweetest, and most Christlike young women I know, but also happens to be married to my oldest 1st cousin, Zach who, despite his surroundings in his early years, is a youth pastor as well as the purest, sweetest, most Christlike young man. If Zach will allow Ash to watch the uncut Christmas Vacation DVD snorting with laughter, I refuse to feel guilty.

But I digress.

Two years ago, we bought the ornament memorializing the scene in the movie where Clark finally gets all the lights on his house to glow simultaneously. After hanging the moose mug right next to the Griswold house I got on eBay’s online auction site to see if I could find the other two ornaments in the “series” from Hallmark. In less than 30 seconds, I found over twenty of the first ornament in the group — Cousin Eddie’s RV, circa 2009. Once I saw what they were going for, I didn’t even bother looking for the station wagon with the huge Griswold Christmas tree strapped to the top.

The CHEAPEST “Cousin Eddie’s RV” listed was over $100 dollars! The one in the image at the top of this post was at $215 and the reserve price hadn’t been met. I saw MANY going for OVER $300. Please, read that again slowly. Three. Hundred. Dollars. For a hunk of plastic resin made and assembled in Sri Lanka.  A family in sub-Saharan Africa could live a year off what these people are willing to pay for a PLASTIC CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT THAT IS NOT EVEN FIVE YEARS OLD!!! It’s not like it’s a rare painting by one of the “Old Masters.” It’s a freaking ORNAMENT for a TREE.

Folks, I’m not going to go on and on about this because there’s really no need to. The evidence is plain. When we’ve reached the point where people line up to give $300 dollars OR MORE for a small chunk of painted plastic churned out by children in a sweatshop factory located in a country 97% of the people using eBay couldn’t find with a GPS, a globe, and Google Earth, we are beyond the point of no return; we have converted the movie Idiocracy from a wonky comedy to a documentary and made the late Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron” a work of true prophecy.

We. Are. Doomed. and we deserve to be.

So, keep those feet clean for the time we’ve got left and remember I love y’all so take care of yourselves!

The Christmas Day Budge Channeled Gypsy

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When the lead pic is Gypsy Rose Lee, you just KNOW this is gonna be interesting.

1675 years ago today, the still-nascent Christians first celebrated the Birth of Christ on Christmas Day; 1211 years ago, Charlemagne became the first Holy Roman Emperor; 945 years ago, William the Bastard took the crown of England; 235 years ago, Washington crossed the Delaware and defeated the Hessians; 193 years ago, the choir of St. Nikolaus Cathedral in Oberndorff, Austria performed “Silent Night” for the first time; 97 years ago, several groups of Allied and Central Powers soldiers spontaneously stopped the Great War to sing carols and play soccer; twenty years ago, the final President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned; fifteen years ago, child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was murdered (probably by her psycho brother); and two years ago, a crazy Nigerian tried to use his underwear to blow up an airplane.

These were all extremely important, memorable events to be certain, but none of them can match the Christmas morning ten years ago today when my beloved Budge made her burlesque debut on the back deck of our new home.

See what had happened was, it was Christmas morning and the two of us had breakfast in the living room in front of our tree, then exchanged gifts with each other. We were supposed to be at Daddy and Teresa’s for Christmas lunch at noon, so about ten o’clock, Budge went to get a shower while I took some of my new presents out to my workshop. At the time, my precious Jackie Boy and Beauregard (better known as Beau and Jack) were in their primes and I hadn’t yet taken the initiative to have their little testosterone factories shut down. Both of them were jealous of me and had scrapped quite violently before.

Even if you don't save a life, you may save a trip to the ER!!

While I was outside, I dropped something — I can’t even remember what — and when I stooped to get it, Jack ran up to me. Beau must have figured Jack was attacking me because he set into Jack ferociously. They were snarling and biting each other around the neck and generally tearing each others flesh (and my nerves) to pieces. Now I have been raised around dogs all my life. One of my earliest companions was a full blood American Pit Bulldog named Queen. I know dogs and dog behavior and one thing I knew to NEVER do was to get between two fighting dogs.

Well, I forgot myself in my desire to get this fight broken up. Beau was on top of Jack so I reached to grab his collar so I could pull him backwards. Just as my fingers touched Beau’s collar, Jack whipped around and tried to latch onto Beau’s neck. Unfortunately, my hand and wrist happened to be in his line of fire. He clamped down on my left wrist with malice and forethought. Pain exploded in my hand instantly, but just as quickly as he had bitten down, Jack released me.

I looked down at my wrist and four holes were spouting bright red gouts of blood. I grabbed my injured wrist with my opposite hand and staggered towards the back door. I was bleeding like the proverbial “stuck hog” and I didn’t want our utility room looking like an abattoir so I opened the back door, leaving a bloody hand print on the knob, and called out to Budge to please come to my assistance.

Now my Budge is a pretty cool-headed person and handles most emergencies well; however, she doesn’t handle ME being hurt OR large amounts of blood very well. She walked out to the back door wrapped in a towel fresh from the shower with her hair wrapped in a second towel. I recall her words being “Honey, I’m getting ready. What do you wa — OHMYGODWHATHAPPENED!!” I asked her for a clean towel so I could wrap my bleeding limb. At this point, I figured she would pick a towel out of the hamper that was at her feet or, failing that, she would take the towel from her hair.

I was wrong.

Ironically, this is one of Budge's favorite movies.

I heard her scream “HERE, TAKE THIS ONE!” and a towel fell at my feet. It was a pink towel and somehow, through the haze of pain and adrenaline, I remembered the towel on her hair being blue. I looked up and there stood my beloved wife au naturel.  She had stripped off her body towel and was standing on the back deck in a deep frost in front of God and everybody just as naked as the day she was born!

I managed to strangle out, “Um, baby?” and she came to her senses with a jolt and dashed back into the house. For about fifteen seconds, if anyone had been in either of our neighbor’s yards or driving by at a proper angle, he or she would have gotten a SHOW! Oh, that was a sight.

Once I got the blood contained, we spent about an hour of Christmas morning in the Hillcrest Hospital ER. Miraculously, the bite had missed any vital tendons or arteries. I ended up with four deep puncture wounds that hurt like CRAP as the nurse flushed them with iodine. Then I got a morphine injection and that was about the last clear thing I remember for the day.

We made it to Daddy’s about thirty minutes late, but by then the morphine was in control of my mind so I spent two hours in a recliner in a doze. We left Daddy’s and went to Charles and Missy’s for Budge’s side’s dinner. Again, I spent the evening in a recliner as Budge related the morning’s events. We made it home about eight that night and I was finally able to give in to the morphine completely and I was GONE to see the Wizard, so to speak.

Because I had such a great night’s sleep, I was able to get up really early the next morning. Budge and I had a fantastic day shopping the after Christmas clearances. To this day, we call it one of our top ten days ever!

And to think, it all started with a dog fight and a strip show 🙂

Love y’all and Merry Christmas, everyone!

Have a great day and keep those feet clean!

What I Want for Christmas

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Today is Christmas and everyone who survived the rush and crush of people are gathered around trees or tables with friends and family swapping stories, opening presents, eating, drinking, and generally making merry. It’s been a common custom for people to exchange lists of gifts they would like to get from their significant others while children practice their penmanship on those all important letters to Santa. I thought that, in the spirit of the season, I’d like to make out a list of what I want for Christmas this year. Just for fun and variety.

I want to eat Christmas dinner at Papa and Granny Wham’s. I want Papa Wham to say the blessing — his blessing — the same one I can still recite in my head: “Father, pardon us of all our sins; we thank you for these and all other blessing, in Jesus’ name, Amen.” I want to eat Granny Wham’s bone dry turkey and her dressing that she never put onions in because she knew I hated onions. I want Granny Hughes’ English pea dumplings as a side dish. I want one of Aunt Nell’s cakes.

I want us all sitting around a huge table. I want Papa Wham at one end and Papa John at the other. I want Granny Wham to sit down and not walk around with the tea pitcher asking to fill everyone’s glass for the twentieth time. I want Budge next to me and Mama and Rob, Mama Lowe and Jessie, Travis and Dani, and Chloe stretching down from Budge’s side. I want Chloe to have a bottle of cereal held in two good hands. I want Daddy and Teresa, Nick, Keri, and Mason on my other side stretching up the table. I want Daddy to be holding Mason and genuinely happy, smiling and at ease instead of on a ragged emotional edge because of Vietnam rooted PTSD.

I’d say I want Mama and Daddy still together, but even my wildest fantasies have their limits. Also, wishing carelessly can reduce happiness as much as expand it. For instance, had Mama and Daddy not divorced, MAYBE some things in my life would have been better. Maybe not. However, no divorce would then mean no Rob. No Rob; no Baby Huey; no Baby Huey; no Dani and without them both I wouldn’t have my beautiful baby niece, Chloe. It would be the same story on my other side as well. No Teresa would mean no Nicholas; no Nick would mean no Sissy; no Nick and no Sissy would mean no precious baby Mason.

Unfortunately, Mason and Chloe don’t completely erase the pain, anger, and frustration of a busted up family and all the excess arrangements and holiday misery such a lifestyle brings with it — memory is a killing thing in that regard, but they DO give the pain, anger, and frustration new and happier context. They’ve given meaning to the madness. Having those two bright eyed centers of the universe giggling and laughing at the table make the tears worthwhile.

Then I want Aunt Judy and the family she’d have sitting next to Aunt Cathy and Uncle Larry and Blake and Zack and Ashley. I want them all sitting right across from me. I want Granny Wham sitting next to Papa Wham and Aunt Mary and Uncle Carroll sitting — happily — side-by-side next to Granny.  I want Aunt Polly, Aunt Nell, and Aunt Mot — The Three Sisters — sitting together. I want Shane and Ashleigh sitting together nearby. I want little curly-locked Gabriel sitting on his all-grown-up Uncle Scott’s lap.

I want Dad and Sandy nearby — and quiet for a change. I want Missy and Charles and Jackson and Harry somewhere close by. I want Richard, bright-eyed, unhaunted, happy and sober, sitting next to Ki-Ki with Ryken on his lap. I want my beloved Kayla with her mom and stepdad, PJ and O.J,. there with the boys and Celeste, calmly smiling, eating and talking instead of screaming and fighting. This is another case of wishing for wholeness would mean wishing away much happiness. In some convoluted “perfect world” Rich and PJ wouldn’t have divorced and Kayla would have grown up in a stable family, made excellent grades, and gone to a fantastic college on a soccer scholarship. However, if that were true, Budge and I wouldn’t have Ki-Ki and Ryken in our lives, so — as painful as the road my be — I’ll take the demonic with the divine and keep on keeping on.

I want Laura and Rachel and Jen and the rest of Budge and my Florida family sitting with us around the table. I want to sit next to Grandma Sims and ask her if Dad was always as stubborn and hard-headed as he is now!

I want Papa John to read the Christmas story out of Luke from Papa Hurley’s huge family Bible. I want Uncle Claude to pray for us all after the meal. I want Aunt Mildred sitting with him, calm and well. I want Aunt Betty and Uncle Raymond and Rhonda next to Granny Hughes. I want Mama singing Christmas carols (instead of hacking and coughing) with Aunt Lib and Big Granny while Papa John plays his guitar and Aunt Margie plays the piano. I want Jenny there with Bubba and Diane. I want Bluford and Chad, Connie and Gen all sitting together. I want Aunt Margaret passing around her biscuits with one hand while holding Uncle Leroy’s hand with the other.

I want Brooke and Smallwood, Daniel and the Sledzianowski Brothers, Angela and Christian, and of course, my buddy Tina all sitting near me. I want Coach Candler and Mrs. McCuen and all the rest of my Woodmont family sitting around the table and tree with us. I want Maureen and her 3 boys and Dr. O and his three girls with Lance and my District 56 family with them too. I want my “sister” Laura sitting with Cameron and Jacob, smiling and not worried about paying bills or being alone anymore. I want Erica sitting hand in hand with David, happy and satisfied.

I want us all together and happy one more time.

That’s what I want for Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Hug and kiss the ones you love today. Next Christmas might be too late.

One In Every Town: Clark Griswold Wannabe

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Way back in the mists of time, I mentioned an idea I had for a random series of observations about small town life. I wrote the prologue to the set and haven’t done much in the way of fleshing it out ever since. Lately though, the original idea has come back into fashion in my brain so this’ll be the first of what hopefully becomes several installments.

The first denizen of every small town in America is the “Clark Griswold Wannabe.”

For those deprived enough to have never seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark spends a goodly chunk of the movie working on his home’s light display. He staples, ties, and otherwise attaches several thousand itty-bitty lights all over the house . . . only to have it fizzle the first time he calls the family out to see the fruit of his labor.

Clark (and Mr. Stewart) would be so proud.

In your town and mine, he is “that guy” on the block, across the street, or down the road who wants the biggest, most over the top Christmas light extravaganza around. This guy puts out so many lights that birds don’t roost for a mile radius around his house because of the glow. You can read a newspaper by the lights of the blow up Santa Claus. Heaven help us all if more than one Griswold wannabe lives on the same street or block. By the time they finish one-upping each other, the rest of the town will be under rolling blackouts just to meet the power demand. Not to mention the traffic that’ll back up as everyone stops to “look at the pretty lights!”

When I was growing up, Granny and Papa Wham would take me out to Stewart’s Lake every year to see Mr. Stewart’s light display. It was breathtaking for an eight year old. We’d go every year, sometimes even twice or three times. He was in the Golden Strip Tribune Times one year and we found out just what a sacrifice his light show was. Remember this was in the early 1980s and his power bill from Black Friday to New Year’s Eve was over $700. Still, Mr. Stewart didn’t charge a dime to ride or walk around his property and view the lights. He just had a donation box set up where good-hearted souls could contribute to maintaining the Christmas cheer.

This is one of the displays from the "other" side of town. Maybe that's the house Uncle Eddie lost?

Of course, Mr. Stewart’s light displays were pretty and always in good taste. Not all the Griswolds out there are so . . . cultured. Elegantly lit Nativity scenes are replaced by fake reindeer strung up as if being skinned for Christmas dinner. The effect on young children was obviously the therapy inducing kind. Nothing like seeing an effigy of Rudolph strung up on a pole leading the little ones to believe Santa will have no one to pull his sleigh this Christmas.

Mr. Stewart passed away right after I went off to college. His children were much Scroogier than their father so his beloved displays were parted out and sold off in yard sales and at jockey lots. These days, the over the top light display capital of these parts is The Turkey Ring in beautiful downtown Pelzer, SC. Pelzer is a dying mill town and The Turkey Ring is a road that runs around and through one of the old mill hills. The people there go all out putting up displays that rival any professional shows. By far, the strangest — some would say creepiest — part of the Turkey Ring is the family of “Light People” who live in the last house on display. They all wear strands of lights wrapped around them and plugged in to drop cords. It’s a little disconcerting the first time you see it.

It's a little blurry, but yes, those are people wrapped in strands of Christmas lights! They even stand out in the RAIN!

Every small town has one or two of these characters though. They make the holidays a LOT brighter — literally — with their overabundance of electrical cheer. What about your town? Who always goes the whole hog to put on a show come Christmas? Tell us all about it in the comments.

Love y’all and until next time, keep warm and dry and wash your feet!