Show your Christmas spirit

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My dad and I have always made it a family tradition to watch two movies that terrorize my mother.

Thanks to the wonders of TBS and the all-day marathon it’s easy to find our Christmas favorites — “A Christmas Story” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

My mother has never developed a taste for watching the classics that they are back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

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Crazy. I know.

But there are important life lessons in these movies.

1. Don’t stick your tongue to a frozen flagpole.

2. BB guns are dangerous.

3. And you CAN over decorate your house for Christmas.

Chevy Chase’s character in “Christmas Vacation” — Clark Griswold — is full of Christmas spirit. And he shows it by covering his house and yard with 25,000 Christmas lights.

The result is a blinding light for the next-door neighbors.

It’s a theme that’s been copied in countless movies and TV shows since then, and it’s one that never loses its humor.

Unless, of course, you are Griswold’s neighbor.

I’ve yet to canvas the Miss-Lou for the best holiday decorations this year.

I know from past experience that the fruit streets in Vidalia are full of Christmas spirit. And passing glances at a few subdivisions off U.S. 61 South show promise.

Though it’s doubtful that the Miss-Lou has any light shows that cause the power plant to take a stutter step like Griswold’s did, the area has some houses worth driving by.

Readers who have posted comments on our Web site have made a few suggestions so far:

4 A house a few miles out Palestine Road

4 Little Acres Subdivision in Vidalia

4 And 801 Myrtle Drive in Natchez

I can’t vouch for any of these, but they got kind words from our online readers.

If we can collect addresses for enough good light displays in the area, The Democrat will consider publishing a map highlighting where you should head out to drum up some holiday spirit.

So if you know of a house that does Christmas right — in Natchez, Vidalia or Ferriday — give me a call, send an e-mail or post a comment on our Web site with the house’s address.

We’ll send out scouts and try to compile a good list of where to spend your December evenings. If we find good results we’ll publish the list for all to enjoy.

Anyone who spends more than an hour and $100 preparing their yard for the holidays deserves a little recognition, and we are willing to help.

Besides, with high gas prices, those seeking Christmas cheer can’t afford to drive aimlessly to find it.

So, even if a squirrel comes out of your Christmas tree or your Aunt Clara gives you a pink bunny suit, remember Christmas could be worse if you lived next door to Clark Griswold.

Julie Finley is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or