If the holiday season is leaving you feeling uninspired, clearly it’s time you went outside into the crisp, dark night and looked at some Christmas lights!

Start out at the Miller Lights Holiday Show,

which you don’t even have to get out of your car to enjoy. Every year the Miller Family raises money for a great cause, and this year it’s Hearts for Happiness, an organization made up of 6th graders from Sequoia Elementary whose mission is to spread happiness within the community through random acts of kindness. Basically, these kids are like the anti-Scrooges! To participate, simply drive up, tune your radio to 88.9, and sip that hot cocoa you finally remembered to bring along this year! These lights will be up until January 3rd. You can learn more here: TheMillerLights.com

Since you’re still in your car, head on over to Snowman Lane, aka Walnut Court, which is off Sonoma Ave, one block east of Brookwood. photo 5 (2)

For this one, you will want to park that car and walk in, unless you love inching along a dead end street trying to see past the throngs of people on the sidewalks blocking your view. photo 3 (4)Nearly every house on this block-long street is decorated, some more elaborately than others, some even cashing in on the crowds by selling yummy things like hot cider (bring a flask if you want to warm it up a bit more), popcorn, and the occasional hot dog or donut hole.photo 1 (6)

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Not too far away you can catch some lights on Yulupa (north of Montgomery near Montgomery Village). photo 2 (10)

 

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This is a completely different experience from Walnut Ct. which doesn’t require you to get out of your car either to enjoy the many (but not all) homes that have decked their outer halls for the holiday. The streets are nice and wide, so if you don’t feel like strolling, you don’t have to.

Finally, way on the other side of town, off of West Third between Dutton and Stony Point Roads to be exact, is a humble little mobile home park called Valle Vista III

(the street itself is called Arboleda), where there are some lights here and there, but the place you want to check out is just past the first cross street. Honestly, you can’t miss it…unless you go past 9pm which is what I did, because it didn’t occur to me that this is a community of retired folks who need their sleep. So, go a little earlier.

This place is a perfect representation of the joy and hard work that goes into making Christmas special for others. Hand carved and painted wooden elves, snowmen, toy soldiers, see-sawing squirrels and more sit under the floating fake snow among the many miniature trees, all decorated in their own way. Strung from the tree in the center of the yard is a track on which Santa and his reindeer fly around above your head. Circling the yard is another track, this one for a whistling train. It’s worth it to visit this little neighborhood just for this one display. Or, if you’re like me, you can just loiter out front in the dark hoping the sweet old gentleman who put this all together will come outside and ask if you’d like a cup of hot cocoa, then offer to be your new adopted grandpa.

Tis the season to get out there and see some sparkles! Where are your favorite light displays? Post them in the comments below – Happy Holidays!