Last night we went to dinner at Sugarbacon, the new restaurant in the Lakewood shopping center. It’s kind of a fine dining place so we don’t go often as Emerson’s refined palate is more interested in cheese sauce (queso) and tortillas.
As we approached the eatery, Jess reminded me about the Christmas tree lighting across the street. A fourteen year tradition filled with children of all ages, parents with Yeti Ramblers filled with “go juice” of all sorts, and Santa awaiting the countdown to pull the switch to electrify the twinklers on the large cedar tree.
After brisket enchiladas and red pepper hummus, in the light rain, we joined the festivities. All the shops were open and full. The bar was pouring out the door. There was a tiny petting zoo with two rabbits, two goats, one sheep, one goose and about a million kids being yelled to “be sweet” and “pet nice”.
A man with extremely long legs (possibly stilts, but he had on long pants so that can’t be verified) was dressed as the Nutcracker. Santa had two elves in tow. Another elf in the far corner of the outdoor party had been trained to make holiday-themed balloon animals. A maestro lead the choir full of pimple-covered middle schoolers. It was like a mad house with the clowns as Christmas staples.
The shopping center sits behind a little park that has plenty of trees throughout. One large Christmas tree sits near the corner at the apex of the park surrounded by other bur oaks.
As this was our first time to attend the event, I think the expectations were high. A ton of people couldn’t possibly be there without this being spectacular.
As the chorus of kids scurried across the crushed gravel towards the Christmas tree in the distance, Santa left his tented thrown where he’d been snapping pictures with ticket holders. It was a long, arduous trek that seemed to take forever. The man behind the microphone awaited the arrival of ol’ Saint Nick to begin the countdown as he read of the sponsors of the event.
Then the countdown started. 10…9…8…7…
We took refuge from the raindrops under one of the trees with a view of the park. I held Emerson up to my eye level so she could see. Jess stood close by my side to shield herself from the cold.
The fat man in the red suit named Claus flips the giant switch that resembles a prop from Dr. Evil’s lair. Anticipation fills the air. The Christmas tree, the bur oaks at its side, the bushes, all will be ablaze in light soon.
1… The crowd cheers! The light spectacle begins…
And… wah, wahhh…
One tree lights up. The lone Christmas tree adorns no ornaments with plain white lights. That’s it.
All the other foliage stays dark. Perhaps there was a malfunction in the lights. A fuse out, a broken light. Something.
But no. There’s this huge fiesta to watch a 12′ tree get 10 strands of light turned on.
Of course, our house in decorated with zero strands of lights on the outside. We don’t even have a plug outside to provide the electricity. I’m thinking of throwing a huge party complete with a countdown to light our door wreath. That’ll show ’em.