Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christmas Past: Naples Island Christmas Lights

A Christmas post?
That's right.
I have no shame.
Everyone else is all, "it's Valentines day.  Let's post about pink and red and hearts and what not."
But not me.
No sirree.
I'm all, "it's still January and I'm getting these dang Christmas posts done if it's the last thing I do!"
And that's what I aim to do, people.
If you are too into the Valentines Day vibe to think about Christmas, you can come back here in a week.
I might be done with Christmas.
Now, a blast from the past.
Christmas in Naples.
I don't know how I have managed to never post about the Christmas lights in Naples.
They are an essential part of our Christmas traditions.
I looked and there is nothing there.
This has to change.
Because we have so many good memories wrapped up in those walks along the canals: William falling in cactus plants, Aaron carrying Lilly on his shoulders, hot cocoa in hand, enjoying an opportunity to wear hats, scarves and mittens,  singing along with parading carolers, telling the kids, again and again, not to climb on people's docks, seeing friends, and taking in the lights.

There are many favorites.
The house that looks like Santa's face.
The Indiana Jones house.
The house with all the teddy bears.  Like a 1000 of them.  No lie.
The one with the fairy houses.
We see them again and again and love them more each time.
But none compare to the house with the roller coaster.

The Ferris wheel.

And the scrambler.

Every year we hope it will be a night that it's up and running.
It's almost worth fighting the weekend crowds just to be sure to see this spectacle in action.
We love it so.

I don't know the history of this place.
I don't know how many Christmases these pieces have seen.
But the elderly gentleman who sets them up can't do it forever.
I'd like to think it will still be here, the roller coaster full of dolls slowly chugging up hill and then racing down, when my kids are grown.
But it might not be.
It probably won't be.
Because things change.

When I was little we went to Christmas Tree Lane every Christmas.
After we left my Babci and Dziadzi's (grandma and grandpa in Polish) we drove to Christmas Tree Lane.
It was one of my most favorite parts of Christmas.
Almost every house on the block, done up for Christmas.
We're talking crazy done up, thousands of lights, moving decorations, music, window scenes with moving figures--it was wonderful.
I can still remember my favorite houses.
They are forever a part of my childhood, Christmas memories.

I wish it was still there.
It's not--or at lest not the Christmas Tree Lane I knew.
But the memories live on.
Just like the memories we are making in Naples will live on.
Memories of the house with the roller coaster.
"Don't you just wish you could shrink down small enough to ride it, Mommy?"
They say that every year.
Love from,


mom said...

I am so glad we gave you those memories...and that you and Aaron are providing your own children with wonderful Christmas memories as well.

Betsi* said...

How fun! I remember going to the furniture store in downtown Handord, CA during Christmas when I was little to see the window displays of frolicking winter forest animals and Santa's workshop. A few years ago, we were back for a visit and I wanted to take my kids to see it. Then my Nana told me the furniture store, open since the fifties, had closed. It was heartbreaking.
But I treasure those memories!