I’ll be Home for Christmas
Christmas comes alive in Redding, CA, each year with the town’s decoration contest for homeowners who want to participate. The Lights of Home, begins on November 27th of each year. You don’t need a castle to enter and win.
Christmas comes alive in Redding, CA, each year with the town’s decoration contest for homeowners who want to participate. The Lights of Home, begins on November 27th of each year. You don’t need a castle to enter and win, but you do need a lot of Christmas spirit. All through the city, the homes light up with displays that could compete with Disneyland. There are Santas and sleighs and movable characters on rooftops and lawns. Little homes and huge homes alike all take it one notch up each year. One home features a computerized display that is synchronized to music played on a personal radio frequency. Once a year, during the season, the owners of this house come out to the stream of spectators and pass out warm ginger cookies. Each year, the homes that are entered in the contest are judged by the Shasta Association of Realtors, in Redding.
The Redding Christmas tree is brought down from the local mountains to be set up in the center of town for the annual Winterfest Tree Lighting. This has been a Redding tradition for more than 90 years. On the same night, the local 20–30 Club sponsors the yearly Redding Lighted Christmas Parade. This years theme is “I’ll be Home for Christmas: Honoring Our Men and Women in Uniform.” Anyone can participate as long as there is some display of lights. The parade is very popular and many local families plan their floats all year long. Besides floats, there are children on tricycles, family pets with lights on their collars, people in wheelchairs, and just about anything you can hang a light on. Families line the streets to see the parade and maybe catch a glimpse of a friend or neighbor in the promenade. In Redding, it’s pretty hard not to see someone you know, so it’s a wonderful holiday atmosphere. Vendors sell hot chocolate and goodies and one sells hot baked potatoes — not for eating but for hand warmers. If you want a good viewing spot, you will need to go early. And be sure to take a comfortable seat with you. Warm clothing is a must. Take a pocket full of cash for the vendors, or take your own basket of goodies.
In years to come, not many will remember what the floats really looked like. What they will remember is how great it was to live in a small town like Redding where people still joined together to create the memory that “there’s no place like home.”
Image Source: Flickr/David Prasad