I'm not sure if this phenomenon is abundant in other states or areas of the country (it certainly wasn't an epidemic in LA County), but here in Oklahoma, the holiday season spawns millions and millions of city sponsored but privately funded light displays of truly epic proportions.
My small town caught the fever to put up temporary Christmas twinklers at the largest city park for a drive-through attraction sometime in it's past and it's now become a major bullet point in the Chamber of Commerce's propaganda package to get people to visit, stay, and spend money in our little town.
The other night, we took advantage of the unseasonably warm evening temps (40's-50's) and piled into the back of the El Camino for a cruise through the megawatt park.
I didn't have any astroturf, but a few furniture blankets sufficed for a soft pad in the bed of my car-truck. A few heavy wool blankets, mittens, earmuffs, hoodies pulled tight, and the girls were ready for a nostalgic 5 mph slow jam amidst the man-made milky way of cheap made-in-Taiwan mini-bulbs, prelit wireframe sculptures, and animated figures of frequent repose.
Norman Rockwell couldn't have envisioned a winter sleigh ride with more holiday fervor and nostalgic je ne sais quo than we had going on right there in the back of my muscle truck.
As I fired up the small block and let the beast exhale some Flowmaster fumes, my wife commented that even growing up a small town Okie, she had somehow managed to avoid what she termed a very "redneckie" activity such as we were about to partake.
Yet here she was with her So Cal born and bred husband and daughters, oohing and ahhing at Christmast lights, while smiling and waving from the back of a pick 'em up bed.
I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure the kids behind us were wishing at that moment that they could pop out of the heated leather seats in their Dad's BMW 3-series eurolux sedan and switch places with my girls.
Or maybe they were just chuckling at the expense.