BY MARISSA GALLO, firstname.lastname@example.org
1:12 PM EST, December 5, 2012
Making the drive every other week to Perryville from Bel Air can be long and boring.
About 35 minutes, most of which is spent traveling along Route 155 through Churchville and Havre de Grace, there's very little stimulation along the way, especially when it's dark.
A cow here, a horse there. Oh, that house got a new mailbox. Good for them.
After Thanksgiving, things get a little more interesting.
Driving Tuesday night along my usual route, I was treated to one of my favorite things during the holiday season: Christmas light displays.
In all the places I've lived there has been nary a light and, 95 percent of the time, not so much as a wreath on the door.
And, really, that's OK with me. Let's keep those decorations inside where I spend most of my time.
With that lack of motivation to deck the house in twinkling lights comes an admiration for people who do.
I can't imagine how much time and effort goes into hanging "icicles" from the gutters or for the brave few who go all out and, as my husband charmingly puts it, do it up.
There's one particular house on Route 155 that I genuinely look forward to seeing every year, and have as far back as I can remember, my family driving to Havre de Grace to visit family.
This house, on the left when driving east, has different colored lights in their trees, on their house and a candy cane fence along the yard.
It's so bright and magnificent, I can see it in my rearview mirror for several hundred feet
I'm one of these people who believes that more is better. At least, when it comes to Christmas decorations.
I appreciate and admire those who practice restraint and put up a few strands of lights — very tactful and classy — but I want the works.
I want to see something straight out of "Christmas Vacation" and be blinded. Just not while I'm driving.
I want to see every inflatable holiday character possible on that front lawn among the plastic reindeer and not see an inch of grass.
If you're ever in Parkville or going west on Joppa Road, there's another house on the right that looks like Christmas threw up on it, but in the best possible way.
I applaud that "go big or go home" mentality.
That's why I really dug the homeowners in Bel Air who not only decorated their home for the holidays, but went that extra step and synchronized the lights to the insanely popular song "Call Me, Maybe."
Loved it! And if you haven't seen the video my co-worker Bryna Zumer took, go to exploreharford.com and check it out. It's every bit as wonderful as you can imagine it to be.
I'm also happy to say that the town of Bel Air did a great job with its lights next to town hall — a colorful tree, Santa, presents and a menorah.
Way to represent different faiths, Bel Air.
Speaking of, take some time on Sunday to go to the town's menorah lighting at 4:30 p.m. at the Reckord Armory, marking the first night of Hanukkah. It's the third year for the event in Bel Air.
On Dec. 15, the last night of the holiday, Temple Adas Shalom in Havre de Grace will hold its own menorah lighting at 6 p.m.
I look forward to seeing that event become an annual tradition, as well.
In the meantime, I'll stick to enjoying my minimal decorations in my own home — a tree, a wreath and several angel figurines I've collected over the years — and thoroughly enjoying everyone else's fantastic displays.