Last night we legged it over to Indian Oven for dinner, and on the way back we walked through Columbus Commons. It is all decked out and lit up for the holidays. The brilliant display includes colossal outlines of Christmas bulbs–which also reminded me of the “five golden rings” from The Twelve Days of Christmas–that are strategically positioned at various points on the grounds to allow for posing-within-the-ring selfies (something we saw other visitors doing while we were there) as well as nutcrackers and an assortment of different holiday objects. With some of the lights blinking and others configured to resemble dripping icicles, it’s an active light show, too.
The Columbus Commons decorators didn’t quite attach lights to every square inch of the park–as the photo above shows, they wisely left the central grassy area open for the benefit of neighborhood dogs and outdoor yoga fans–but otherwise all of the trees, shrubs, beds, fountains, and the big stage are adorned in just about every color you can imagine. Add in a giant TV that displays footage of a burning yule log, and you’ve got a pretty impressive display. If you’ve got kids and they like light shows, it is definitely worth a visit.
In addition to finishing up our holiday baking, we’ve also gotten ready for Christmas by putting up our outdoor lights. Unlike the cookies, however, I had nothing whatsoever to do with the light design and placement. We hire a service to do it, they do a fine job, and I avoid personal involvement in the light-hanging mishaps that made the Clark Griswold light scenes of Christmas Vacation a hilarious holiday classic.
There are lots of nice holiday light displays in German Village this year, but my favorite is the one at the little house within the footprint of Schiller Park. With its roofline limned in lights and the crossed, bright red candy canes in the windows, the house looks just like a gingerbread house when I walk by in the morning and the dark brick structure is framed by the brightening sky to the east. It’s a good example of how light displays don’t need to be elaborate to be effective in creating a festive holiday mood.
One of the nagging questions this time of year is: when should you put out and turn on any outdoor holiday lights?
Because I’m about as clumsy as they come when it comes to ladder work, and I don’t really want to risk any broken bones for the sake of a festive lighting display, we use a service that hangs the outdoor lights for us. They came this week, strung the lights, and we are ready to go — but lighting the house before Thanksgiving seems way too early to me. So, the outer lights remain off, and will stay that way until Thansgiving weekend.
However, the lights around the ceiling of our screened-in porch, that only Kish and I see, are on. We feel like we could use some early holiday cheer.
They’ve done a really nice job on the Columbus Commons holiday decorating this year, with a big tree, large faux holiday lights in the flower beds, and light projections onto the sides of buildings. And if you stand near the tree and look toward the core downtown area, the performance stage looks somewhat like a fireplace. When I walked by tonight, the big TV screens to the right and left of the stage were playing footage of a roaring fire, too.
It’s not clear at this point whether the weather gods will cooperate by giving us a white Christmas. The forecast for this coming weekend predicts temperatures hitting the low 60s.