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Holiday Mix

This week's Friday Five is titled "I Spy," but I'm not sure about the theme. Eye-catching things?

1. How do you feel about candy sprinkles (on ice cream, doughnuts, cupcakes, or whatever)?
If something's going to disrupt the otherwise smooth texture of a dessert, it has to be worth it. Sprinkles are not. (That said, I think my child self made an exception for chocolate jimmies.)

2. Where's a good place to look at Christmas lights?
Are we talking light shows, or just rows of decorated houses? Oddly, I don't know *any* special places for the latter. I mean, I know they exist, out there somewhere, but I don't know where. I've always lived in suburban tract housing -- dull neighborhoods where there was no concerted effort regarding such things -- and my family has no tradition of going out in search of them.

Now, light shows, on the other hand ... My church does a Christmas light show, set to music, that is big and busy and flash-y (in the on-and-off sense of the word) enough, IMO, to induce seizures even in a non-epileptic. (Agree?). The story told to me was that it used to be on some ordinary citizen's property, where it was the kind of thing that routinely made the local news (and YouTube), but it got too big and disruptive for his neighbors, so he and my pastor arranged to transfer it to the church. The original tens of thousands of lights on a single house & front lawn made for an effect so dazzling it could probably be seen from space; spread out on a church's campus, however, the effect was initially less stunning. But we've been doing it for six years, adding tens of thousands of lights each year, so that now it's quite the thing. Honestly, I can't understand how it might make *anyone* think about the spiritual side of Christmas -- and I wasn't kidding about the seizure aspect -- but lots and lots of people come to look at it, so I am clearly the oddball.

[Full disclosure -- I just looked up the guy who designed and donated the initial materials for our light show, and it appears that he still does a super-spectacular home display involving not only his, but his near neighbors' lawns. I guess the story we got was the made-for-TV version, with amped-up drama.]

For a Disney-esque light spectacle that didn't have me wishing for anticonvulsants, I'll take the Saks Fifth Avenue display I saw a couple years ago. So good, and right across from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

3. What's a good idea for a drive-through service or product that doesn’t yet exist?
You can already get food, banking, prescriptions, and library return service at a drive-up window. Since food, money, medicine, and books are the only important things, what's left? I have no good ideas, but here are some that really exist.

4. How confident a parallel parker are you?
On a scale of 1-10, about a 6.5. Okay, maybe a 7. But no higher than a 7.5. :-) You had to be able to do it to get a license in my state in my day (though not anymore), and I always parallel park if it's an option, just so I don't forget how. But I'm not one of those single-turn-of-the-wheel, super-slider-inners; just an average Jane who doesn't get many opportunities to practice.

5. How much plaid do you own?
I am wearing a plaid nightgown right now, but for a girl from a large Scottish-American family that revels in all those ersatz ex-pat manifestations of said heritage (bagpipe music, Highland Games gatherings, Kenneth McKellar recordings (<< you really must click on that link), online-ordered meat pies and bridies, tartan accessories), not very much. Along with the nightie, I have maybe a skirt, a scarf, and a thermos.