This post is part of the Winter Warm-up Blog Hop. For more info, go to www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com . For prize information, read to the end!
I live in a very suburban neighborhood that sits near the downtown area of a mid-sized city in North Carolina. It’s been a great place to raise kids and make a life, and as we’ve gotten older, my husband and I have decided that we want to retire in this house and this area.
The location is within walking distance of schools, churches, and stores and there are sidewalks in most places. Homes and yards are neatly kept, large old oak trees make it a very green area, and the neighbors are great.
Christmas time, though, is when my neighborhood shines most brightly. I mean that in both a very literal and very metaphorical way.
The literal part is based on an amazing light display that was invented by someone in the neighborhood, caught on with the neighbors, and has spread all over it. It’s now being picked up by people in other places because it looks so astonishingly beautiful and is surprisingly easy to do.
Lighted tree balls are made from chicken wire shaped roughly into a ball or tube shape and strung with lights. But the thing that makes them amazing is that they are hung high in those tall trees. After dark, they seem to float in the air. With a whole neighborhood’s worth of them surrounding you, it feels like you’re in a fairyland.
Unfortunately, they don’t photograph well. I know a number of people who’ve tried to get pictures of them, including myself. I’ve linked to a Youtube video below that tells the story of how they got started and gives some idea what the neighborhood looks like this time of year.
There are many wonderful features to this display, including the way neighbors come together to put them up and the beauty created, but perhaps the best one is this: the display is used as a way to collect food for the hungry. Stations are set up around the neighborhood to collect canned and packaged goods to support various ministries in the city. Check out the blog link below for an update on how much has already been collected this year. There are also some much better pictures of the lights on the blog post.
Neighbors like these make me proud to be a part of the Sunset Hills neighborhood.
The promotional note: I have just re-released one of my books formerly published by Avalon Books as an ebook. I’ve re-edited and updated it a bit, but kept the basic story the same. If you’re looking for a fun Christmas story with mystery and light romance, BLUE DECEMBER should work for you.
Blurb: It’s two weeks before Christmas and Meg Brandt, a department manager at Wambash’s, “the store with the answer to all your family’s needs,” has problems beyond the usual seasonal chaos. Her department is losing cash from the registers. Inventory is leaving the premises unrecorded and unpaid. Security is focusing on her, since the losses are happening on her watch. Her efforts to track down the source of the disappearances have produced no results, and her career appears to be headed for oblivion. When the store’s new security officer starts showing unusual attention to her, Meg isn’t sure what to think. He’s attractive in any number of ways, but she can’t be sure if his interest is personal or professional.
Buy at Amazon for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q29CBNC
Prizes: My prize is a Christmas gift pack containing chocolate, a couple of books and other goodies for one randomly chosen commenter. Be sure to leave your email address so I can get in touch with you.