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Chuck

How Do You Define The Christmas Experience?

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Chuck    1,000,024

I went to visit the Christmas Ranch over the weekend.  While my wife and I were walking around watching the lights, eating a funnel cake and enjoying the camaraderie of others, I got to thinking how this was truly the Christmas experience.

 

Driving home I started trying to define the Christmas experience.  Oh my gosh.  Easier said than done.

 

Is Christmas based on the number of lights?  The quality of the music and/or food?  How much I like being around uncle Eddie?  I really don't like Uncle Eddie.

 

What do you think?

 

 

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amd250    40

To me the Christmas experience is when an older woman from down the street tells my wife  she has deep depression especially around seeing my lights cheers her up so much, or when I just get a small note on my porch from someone thanking me for the Christmas lights. It's not a big setup compared to most on here, but I guess it's enough touch people during this time of year.  That's enough for me!

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Sidetrack73    5

I have pondered this since the light fight show started. How do you define what is a Christmas spirit or experience.. I feel it cant be judged by a single person. What your vision of Christmas experience is, will always be different that the person next to you.. To me Christmas Spirit and Christmas Experience is like a cause and effect. Christmas Spirit is how much you are passionate about impacting other People's Christmas Experience. If you build a "Blahh" Christmas display/scene/show/town, etc, then the Christmas Experience will be greatly diminished by it for the bulk of the people, bigger may not mean better.. Quality, not quantity.. If the Larsen's had thrown 2 or 3 million lights on the house, would you say it was better? or if they just added a few lights but made it look better and brought that feeling that people get around Christmas of excitement, joy, hope.. the non-tangible feelings associated with Christmas. Which would you say was more Christmas Spirit? I would say the smaller but more attentive to detail would be more Christmas Spirit and in turn the Experience would be better.. In summary, Christmas Experience is not defined by a person, but a group or consensus based on the Spirit. An apartment with a pretty scene can be more impacting that a 50,000 light display just thrown together.. Just my 2 cents.. 

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Chuck    1,000,024

If I was standing all by myself in front of a Christmas light display, I'd be thinking it's nice but there's something missing.  Add a little music and I'm feeling better. Watching the kids in line to see Santa while we're commenting on the dude in the corner wearing the really ugly Christmas sweater... now we're creating an experience.  

 

I'm thinking it's easy for us to become so focused on 'the show' that we forget it's only part of 'the experience.'

 

I keep thinking interactivity is the key. Serve hot chocolate?  Let people decide what the next song will be?  Get your picture made with a reindeer?  It's all part of some sort of Christmas experience.

 

Our displays are making lifelong memories and establishing family traditions.  How can we define that experience?

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JHolmes    2

You make a very astute point, Chuck! That was one of the issues I found with my personal show. We had a nice little light show but nothing to truly immerse the audience in the Christmas experience. This year we changed that by adding 30,000 lights to a 300' driveway. We also put music throughout the entire walk-through.

 

I think, to me, the Christmas experience is about the feelings we foster inside the hearts of everyone who comes to see what we create for them.

I had adults marvel over some of the tech, teens who were captivated by the overall ambiance and emotion, and children who completely lit up when it started to snow on them. The experience is individual, but is manifested communally. That is to say, we each get our own slice of heaven, but it's built in community. 

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JR Kahuna    0

I think it can be summed up in the enjoyment people get. Last year a lady in a development behind us left a note in my mailbox saying how much she enjoyed looking at our lights. I go front and back. She said her health had been poor and she wasn't able to decorate and she hoped I kept it up. It actually made me feel really good, that I wasn't just doing it for me because I was starting to question whether all of the work was worth it. Even though I don't have as big a display as many on here, one thing I take great pride in is that since I moved into our subdivision of 30 homes, more and more neighbors have been decorating.

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To me spreading the cheer, warming the hearts, giving to those that may not, and being able to say Merry Christmas to people I may never see again. 

 

When you say " I keep thinking interactivity is the key " yes I so agree on this one when I was a kid there was always that one house that felt like Santa's workshop and I want to be able to do the same. Its fun watching the adults as well having fun looking around at the lights, grabbing candy around every turn and wondering how I get the props to move. 

 

"Our displays are making lifelong memories and establishing family traditions.  How can we define that experience?"  I have been doing my displays for about 7 years now and I get to watch the kids grow up. I have people take their Christmas pics with Santa or in front of a setup. Families drive by waiting to see whats new for the year or stop by in the summer asking questions how to make or fix something in their Christmas display. Just like Eddie said "It's the gift that keeps on givingClark!" lol...  :) 

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Sidetrack73    5

I was really hoping to get feedback from more PC members on this.. hate it when the forum list drops threads out.. no one sees the last posts.. 

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Drac    0

For me it's about the quest for gifts for my wife.  Don't get me wrong, it's not about the things but about showing that I listen, care and know her.  Past ones have been hand bound copies of her favorite book, a hand calligraphy version of her favorite sonet after getting a scan of the only surviving copy from Shakespeare's time, ect.

 

It's of the thought and the feelings.

 

Oh and awesome music and food :D

 

Jim

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If I was standing all by myself in front of a Christmas light display, I'd be thinking it's nice but there's something missing.  Add a little music and I'm feeling better. Watching the kids in line to see Santa while we're commenting on the dude in the corner wearing the really ugly Christmas sweater... now we're creating an experience.  

 

I'm thinking it's easy for us to become so focused on 'the show' that we forget it's only part of 'the experience.'

 

I keep thinking interactivity is the key. Serve hot chocolate?  Let people decide what the next song will be?  Get your picture made with a reindeer?  It's all part of some sort of Christmas experience.

 

Our displays are making lifelong memories and establishing family traditions.  How can we define that experience?

I know what you are saying.  I do a musical show up here in the Edmonton, AB area, & I visit some other musical shows but those are just individual displays & maybe a house or 2 near it decorates.  My heart still leads me to "Candy Cane Lane".....  https://www.google.ca/search?q=candy+cane+lane+edmonton&hl=en-CA&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=bT38UsaNM-STyQGHkYGICA&ved=0CEAQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=588&dpr=1

where I can see 8 blocks of houses all lite up. Something like 200 houses on 1 street all lite up. They have a hay ride, hot chocolate, people handing out Candy Canes. People getting photos with a full size Santa, photos with the deer, photos beside ice sculptures, music at houses, movies showing in the front window on a screen/ with sound.  1000 people a day walking the whole 8 blocks, while another 1000 cars drive each night.

Viewing those 8 blocks of house, & another 100 or so in another part of Edmonton, Alberta makes me smile & feel better all the time.

Edited by Alberta Bound

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My son seems to redefine the Christmas experience every year. He is my Christmas experience he is my inspiration to do what I do.

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jfelix    6

I think the Christmas experience is whatever moves you to get in the Christmas spirit. For some it's the local tree lighting or a church's love nativity. For others it might be driving around to see light displays or Santa. I don't think you can define it completely. To me the Christmas experience are the memories. The memories I have from Christmases past as well as the ones I create each year with my family and fire other families via our display.

Christmas had changed a lot for me over the years, as I'm sure they have for many of us. When I was a kid the experience was being at grandma's house surrounded by family, good, and cookies waiting for Santa and begging to go Christmas caroling. Grandma, like my mother, have been gone for ten years now. With that the experience changed, a lot. I now live in the South as opposed to Pennsylvania. I have my own family and the experience surrounds my wife's family and our display.

For the last eight years it wouldn't be Christmas without our display, lines of cars wanting to see it, directing traffic, and seeing the amazement and wonder in the eyes of those young and old. People thanking us and telling us our home and display makes their Christmas brighter and puts then in the Christmas spirit. Do we bring in Santa? Yes. But the music and wonder of the lights seem to do the trick.

As I said you can't define it in general but I bet everyone had a pretty good definition of their own.

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk

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lblite    0

I think Christmas is really about the experience with loved ones or even strangers. Being able to share a good moment that will last a lifetime. Gifts, food, and all of that also helps create better memories also :)

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Fsbirdhouse    5

Christmas is a celebration of the Creator setting aside his crown to come down and die for each of us. Christmas is all about that phenomenal act of love. Hope that always stays at the center of why we celebrate.

But having said that, all the very best of traditions we grew up with, all we pass on, and all we get to see our children pass on to theirs in turn, has it's place in that celebration, a celebration that has so grown so powerful in the affairs of the greatest nations on earth that it has become nothing less than a bellwether of those country's economic health. The retailers around the world hang on every nuance of how we, the common people, will celebrate that very best of all the year's Holidays.

Christmas, though not enjoined on Christendom by Holy writ, must surely be most blessed by God Himself, keeping the Lord's name before all the industrialized world as it does, through that very celebration.

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Scot Meyers    10

The Christmas Experience...

To me a really nice out door display adds charm to the season allows expression of each persons Christmas experience. whether you feel the need to be the next great light fight winner. (not me) or whether your looking to create magic for the children (DEFINATLEY ME!!) its all part of the season.

For me its not just about the outside.  I used to be in that great whirlpool of being the best in the neighborhood  then realized there is more to the season that letting your display consume you.   learned that lesson hard after i had to sell it.   Now in the rebuilding phase  and yes a lot of it will be rebuilt  but not all at once and I have learned that time is short with the children  before you know it they will be out of the house and it will just be you and the wife and an empty house with one tree.   so for now  i cherish the moments i have had with my family.  This year I will miss my oldest daughter Meggan not being home for christmas for the 1st time in her life. As she will be out doing mission work in a foriegn country. I will miss the tradition of singing the christmas waltz with her.  Not being able to decorate the tree with her.  So  I will cherish the frosted window paines. candles gleeming in side.   a beautiful tree decorated in the family room with all of the kids crafted ornaments over the years on it.  another in the Living room with all the elegant ornaments and candy canes on the tree to steal at my hearts content.  christmas music playing softly all day long.  Raising fund for that charity of your choice that gives chrismas to kids who would not otherwise have a christmas.    That evening kids choir christmas concert at school or church.   Christmas eve service with family remembering Gods perfect gift.  Building new displays with my boys, nick , caleb ,and josh.  eating my son Josiah's phenominal christmas baking. and holding my other daughter Hollie. and spending time on the couch with my amazing wife Ruth and enjoying all that Christmas has to give.

And allways decorating the home inside and out brining the magic of the season into aour home for another year.

 

 

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Aputernut    22

We enjoy seeing all the folks enjoying our display, which we are watching on 2 monitors and our security cams, while sitting cozy in our recliners, we can also hear the squeals of joy from the children, and watch as the parents take photo's or do videos. this year we had a huge surprise experience so sweet it got Dh choked up as he brought it in and handed it to me. We saw on the monitor a woman get out of a car which had been sitting out there taking it all in, as they pulled forward she got out, we thought to no doubt take a pic. then I said she's at our mailbox? we heard it clang closed and they drove off. Later Dh said ok, I'm going out to see what that was all about, Ok I said, thinking maybe a note or a Christmas card? well it was a note indeed written on a dollar bill, thanking us for the beautiful display on one side and on the other it said "Love your Christmas spirit!"  and that was the icing on our Christmas cake, for this year. Dh plans to keep that dollar as a reminder of Christmas 2016.  But just wait for 2017 we already have spent hundreds on new exciting decorations to add, plus many new LED lights replacing our old ones like our 20+ long strings of icicle lights all around 4 sides of our home. We're anxious for the next one and will once again talk about it or plan all summer long..  LOL

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