First Annual CGS Christmas Decoration Awards

Last week we drove through Newtown near Cincinnati and on the front porch of a small home there were about three Made in China ornaments and a “3rd Place” sign in the front yard. One obvious question was, “If this was all it took to win 3rd place how many entrants were there?”

This past evening we had to go to Bainbridge and everywhere we looked there were colorful displays of Christmas lighting. So, I decided that maybe Chapman’s General Store should also do a little judging. For this first annual Rainsboro to Bainbridge US Route 50 Christmas Lighting Contest I have established three categories, most colorful and gaudy, most tasteful and elegant, and third, most appropriate to the season.

Unfortunately I was driving and the traffic wasn’t light enough to stop and take photos. I was also concerned with the many oncoming headlights having just heard on the news that one out of every one-hundred drivers is texting while driving.

So, without accompanying photos, here are this year’s winners. Cole’s Bait Store gets the most colorful and gaudy prize. Cole’s home sits on a rise and they’ve used the various levels of the property to give depth to their display. Adding to the effect is that when approaching from the west one comes over a hill and without warning comes face to face with all this brilliance. It’s a huge impact on the senses.

Further down US 50, an unidentified home wins the most tasteful and eloquent nod. The roof line of the home is draped with white icicle lights and in large perfectly formed block letters, illuminated with white mini-lights, are the words “Peace on Earth.” What better message for a world in the shape we find this one.

The most fitting prize goes to the simplest view I saw. It was the home of a local conservative Mennonite with the sole light being a ceiling mounted Coleman style lantern piercing the dark. Somehow it struck me this is probably most like how things would have appeared so many Christmases ago. A single bright light illuminating the path.

The one thing I’m happy to report is not seeing a Made in China illuminated inflatable manger scene. I’m pretty sure this news would please the baby Jesus.

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