As the nights grew longer and Christmas grew closer the anticipation of annual holiday traditions multiplied in my mind. There were gingerbread houses to be built, a tree to be cut down and lit, meals to be enjoyed, and cookies to be decorated, and of course the annual “Christmas Light Hunt!” After dinner my sisters and I would pile into out yellow 1970-something station wagon with wood inlay arguing over who would sit by gramma, our fingers drawing snowflakes on the foggy windows, my dad telling us not to write on the windows, and my mother trying to find Christmas music on the radio. The scene was chaotic, but it meant that it was ALMOST Christmas! Invariably, we would drive all over town on the hunt for lights, visiting the notorious hot spots and searching for new ones we had heard rumors about to look at the neighborhoods filled with lights.
After miles of “OOOH’s and AHHHH’s” we would end up at Capitol Lake to view Christmas Island, a depiction of the Nativity built on docks with the State Capitol Building in the background. We would all scramble out of that old station wagon and sit on the warm hood of the Oldsmobile cuddled together to be warm and listen to Silent night…. Not even having to be reminded to be quiet, we would watch in awe of how pretty it was. My gramma whispering…. “If you watch closely, you can see the angel’s wings move.” And we would. And they did. It was magical, and it was Christmas, and some of my happiest memories of the season.
So I was THRILLED to see that Thurston Talk created a list of the BEST places in the community to see Christmas lights, INCLUDING (to my surprise) Christmas Island! Although Christmas Island is no longer floating in Capitol Lake, it’s still a PERFECT way to end your “Christmas Light Hunt”