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Last night as I was driving around, I traversed an upper middle class neighborhood. Most of the houses and the yards surrounding them were decorated for Christmas--plastic Santas, lighted wire reindeer, vari-colored lights along the ridgelines and eaves, sleighs on the rooftops, the usual schlock stuff. Some of it is so tacky....

Then I turned the corner and the display took my breath away (not hard, with the temperatures in the mid 30's). The wide front lawn and side yard had been landscaped into a fantasy white fairyland, all sparkle and glitter, including the existing evergreen trees that grow there and other, smaller, ones added for the occasion.

Not a plastic Santa in sight. The lights and the pseudo-snow were beautifully done; the whole thing looked transported from the Austrian alps. Even the house itself had been decorated with facings of some sort to make it resemble a chalet.

The Scrooge part of me kept thinking, "What a waste of money and electricity." My inner child said, "Wow! Isn't that beautiful!"

"Beautiful" won out.

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