As Christmas approaches one family tradition is to drive the neighborhoods enjoying the Christmas lighting displays everyone puts up. The last few years there have been less and less. I understand, as our own lighting display has been downsized.
Last year many around our area protested a utilities rate hike in November set to reap the benefits of those who put up Christmas lighting displays. Yes, sadly we were one of those, since the year before our December utility bill had been a lot higher than in previous years. We couldn’t afford another huge increase, and the deliberate timing of the hike was deliberately grinchy, so we put up only the minimal lighting display. It was a sad year for enjoying Christmas lights displays.
This year, the rate hike will be put off until January as in previous years, except last year. Wise decision utilities department. The lightening displays have returned, and ours included.
The real point of this post is for many years, we watched a certain home in our area add to his homemade Christmas display and looked forward to seeing what had been added each year. It was not religious in nature, but fun. There were Peanuts characters, then Tweety Bird & its companions, Little Mermaid, the Grinch, Disney Characters, Winnie the Pooh and pals, just to name a few, all homemade. Spotlights illumined the display. Suddenly about four years ago, not only were there no new characters, but the display disappeared entirely. Each Christmas we checked, still the house was dark, no sign of the previously wonderful Christmas light and character display. Had they moved, after all this is a military town, people come and go a lot? Was there a family illness or emergency that caused the display to go missing? While we reveled in the other fantastic lighting displays, we were saddened as we drove past the dark house checking each year.
No we never knew the people who lived in that house. But we felt a connection to them watching the display grow year after year.
Last night, December 10, 2017, we clambered into our truck, hot chocolate in hand, to go check out the neighborhood Christmas lights. With trepidation we turned the corner where the darkened house had been for several years. Lo and behold, in all its previous glory the Christmas lights and beloved characters were on the front lawn, house and roof. We were ecstatic to see the house lit up once again, the Peanuts merry-go-round spinning slowly, all the other cartoon characters smiling broadly. No new characters, but that was alright because the decorations were back.
We took pictures, and decided to share the beloved display with you. Funny how one thing can brighten your spirits as that house did ours last night. This year I believe we will go back to that house and knock on their door and tell them how much we have enjoyed their display throughout the years. Also how much we missed it when it was gone. Christmas lighting is a time consuming, expensive endeavored and a labor of love. To those of you who set up Christmas displays year after year, THANK YOU!
Please share your Christmas Traditions with us in the comments.
Posted in My Say What Blog and tagged Cartoon Characters, Christmas Lighting, Colorado, Displays, Lights, Traditions by firstname.lastname@example.org with 2 comments.
Celebrating a spooktacular Halloween all month on My Say What Blog, so check back for haunting articles about Halloween. What’s not to love about Halloween? One day out of the year you can dress up and pretend to be anything you want and people don’t think you’re crazy. Okay, well, not as crazy as if it wasn’t Halloween!
One of the highest haunts in Colorado is the Stanley Hotel at an altitude of over 7,500 feet. Bawawawa! You know the one that claims to be the inspiration for Stephen’s King’s The Shining (REDRUM – MURDER) . The Hotel was built in 1909 by Freelan and Flora Stanley of Stanley Steamer fortune. Originally, they came to Colorado in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of Freelan’s tuberculosis. They fell in love with Colorado and purchased property and built a home. The Stanley was built as a summer resort for guests Freelan and Flora entertained during their extended vacations in Colorado.
It’s believed Flora haunts the hotel to this day, enjoying one of her favorite pastimes of playing the piano late at night when no one is around. Tales abound of visitors claiming sounds of revelry occurring in the empty ballroom. Room 217 is purported to be haunted by the ghost of a long-term housekeeper. If you gain her favor, she’ll help you unpack. If not…. Well…. It is the room allegedly occupied by Stephen King at one time. Inspiring The Shining?
I don’t know about that, but the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I took photos of The Stanley Hotel outside in broad daylight.
Want to know more about haunted places in Colorado? Click on the link.
Speaking of Hauntings!
Did you know, most present day Halloween traditions are traceable to the ancient Celtic day of the dead? Halloween consists of mysterious customs, but each has a history, or at least a story behind it.
Take wearing costumes, and roaming from door to door demanding treats. This behavior can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era, when it was thought that the souls of the dead were out and about, along with fairies, witches, and demons. Offerings of food and drink were left out to placate them. As the centuries wore on, people began dressing like these creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This is where the practice of trick-or-treating began. To this day, vampires, witches, ghosts, and skeletons are among the favorite costumes.
Our Halloween also retains activities from the original harvest holiday of Samhain, such as bobbing for apples and carving vegetables, (pumpkins) as well as the fruits, nuts, and spices for cider associated with the day. Although at my house, hot chocolate is pretty popular, since Halloween almost guarantees the first snow of the year.
Looking for a fun Halloween Read? A Witch’s Journey is full of meddling ghosts, shapeshifters, sexy witch, a ruggedly-handsome Navy SEAL. An exciting story of redemption, wildlife rescue and Halloween festivals. Available at Amazon.com, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. And I let you in on a little secret. A Witch’s Journey will be available in audiobook soon, so watch for it! After you’ve read A Witch’s Journey, you’ll want the sequel, A Witch’s Holiday Wedding, available at Amazon.com, Kobo.
Well, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to don my vampire costume, custom fitted fangs and pull up a stool in the shadows. With a candy bowl beside me, I sneakily turn on the fog machine. Out of the mist, I’ll greet the little trick or treaters or scare the bejeebers out of the older ones with bats hanging over head and screeching on my command. Won’t you join me? Happy Halloween!
Posted in For Fun, Holidays, My Say What Blog and tagged All Hallows Eve, Colorado, ghosts, Halloween, Haunting, Lobster Cove, shifters, Stanley Hotel, wildlife, Witches by email@example.com with 35 comments.
With its wild and turbulent past, Cripple Creek has a history of unexplained, supernatural occurrences, no wonder it’s earned the reputation of one of the most haunted towns in America. Tales of haunted Cripple Creek hotels, casinos, and homes flourish.
The Imperial Hotel at Third Street and Bennett Avenue known originally as the Collins Hotel, was built after most the town burned to the ground in 1896. As a young man, George Long emigrated from Europe and eventually made his way to Denver. He married his first cousin and together they ran the hotel. The union produced two daughters and a son. The eldest daughter, Alice, was mentally disturbed and the parents were forced to keep her locked in their apartment next to the lobby for her safety and the safety of others. Soon after George fell to his death while negotiating the narrow stairs to the basement. Or some say Alice escaped, waited for him at the top of the stairs, struck him over the head and he crashed to his death from the stop of the stairs. It’s rumored his ghost haunts the hotel to this day.
My experience at the Imperial Hotel was at the performance of Dracula by the Imperial Players in early 1990’s. The performance was excellent, but the strong feeling of someone watching, icy patches and pressure on my arm and lower back, when no one was there. The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. After meeting the cast in the lobby for an autograph session, my family and I quickly exited the hotel and raced to the safety of our vehicle, thankful that we hadn’t booked a room. Looking back on the experience, was it the performance of Dracula in the supposedly haunted hotel that caused my imagination to run wild, or was there really something there? I admit to having an overactive imagination, but not that time. In the years since, I’ve visited Cripple Creek on numerous occasions, to explore old buildings and mining shacks. My husband and I drive up Hwy 67 to enjoy the turning of the Aspens in autumn, used to camp at the Lost Burro Campground but I haven’t set foot in the Imperial Hotel since that night.
** Next week, more Halloween Haunting with traditions, legends and spooky fun. You don’t want to miss it.
Posted in For Fun, My Say What Blog, The Pikes Peak Region and tagged Colorado, Cripple Creek The Imperial Hotel, Dracula, Halloween, Haunted Towns by firstname.lastname@example.org with no comments yet.