Merriest Christmas in St. Louis Hills

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It’s too easy to get sarcastic and nit-picky at Christmas time. There is no sport in shooting fish in barrels or lobbing darts at NASCAR Santa…

And it’s useless to let the continued proliferation of Inflatables get me down.

Spending well over $500 to cram 5 large objects onto a lawn the size of a bread box may actually be less harmful then spending that much on Christmas toys for one child.

Yes, it’s too easy to bag on Christmas, and fighting it brings you no victory. Or to paraphrase a character on The Wire: We try to duck a punch or two rather than lean into every last one. Rather than sulking about it like a 13-year old goth girl hibernating in her bedroom, I’ve learned that making an effort and stepping up to embrace the holiday is much more rewarding than fighting it.

St. Louis Hills has become the Must See Christmas Lights destination, with Candy Cane Lane (above) being the center point. Just behind Ted Drewes, Murdoch Avenue has perfected how to take advantage of old fashioned urban density to create a holiday city within a block. There is music and movement, and on weekends, the residents of the block come out to play Welcome Wagon to the steady line of cars floating through. They roast treats over an open fire, pass out candy canes and…

…dance the hoochie koochie! Light Suit Man (above) graces Candy Cane Lane every weekend in December, and because of his unflagging goodwill and genuine joy, I consider him the Ambassador of It’s Christmas Time in the City.

But right before entering the CCL, a glance to the south, across the schoolyard fence, reveals another festive block, Neosho Avenue.

While certainly attracted to the bodacious charms (and free candy) of The CCL, I prefer this block for both its quiet magic and its “less is more” aesthetic. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles here (the Inflatables content is rather low), just a lot of lights artfully placed. One of the more striking homes is the one above; by opting for subdued, darker lights they become the comma in a sentence.

My very favorite Neosho home is above. I swear an art director must live in this house, because the toned-down, fine-tuned attention to the placement, palette and mood of the lights just reeks of a Metropolitan Home layout. If this block had their own Light Suit Man, he’d stand in front of this house in an Armani suit with just a single key light on the mistletoe pinned to his lapel.

So, these are some of the things that have made my season bright. If you have a moment, venture over to St. Louis Hills, but as you travel, pay attention to the beauty all around you, and have yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

5 thoughts on “Merriest Christmas in St. Louis Hills

  1. I remember this one guy who had a huge display (well before inflatables). I don’t know his name but her had moving skaters, a hand waving santa statue, and a yarn-knitting Mrs. Claus with elves. I don’t know if he even still does this though.

  2. Yes, you are both correct about the tacky house, and if you go back through the BELT archives for December 2005, you’ll see their house made it into a post that ragged on offensive Christmas decorations. Which is why – this year – I decided to applaud the worthwhile rather than continue to bag on the St. Louis Hills Hoosier family. Good will toward men, and all that jazz…

  3. I think I know exactly the house Anonymous #1 is referring to (south of Francis Park) – it’s tacky as hell the other 11 months out of the year but becomes downright offensive at Christmas time.

  4. Thanks Toby for a great essay on an important aesthetic subject. Growing up a County kid, I was always envuious of the superior lights in the City. This shows that the City is still living up to its heritage.

  5. And while you’re there, check out the south side of Francis Park where you can see what Dan and Roseanne Conner would do with a lot more money – – and if they were FOB – “Fresh Off the Boat”.
    Also nearby: South Kingshighway, West side, just south of the jct. of K’s’way and Christy. Don’t miss this yard – it has more crap crammed into the square footage than any other I’ve seen.
    -Happy Talk

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