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Let there be light!

The Signal's 15th annual Holiday Light Tour, Home for the Holidays, will cruise the SCV Dec. 6

Posted: November 14, 2008 8:40 p.m.
Updated: November 15, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Elaborate holiday lighting and decor bring holiday spirit to the Santa Clarita Valley. The Signal's annual Holiday Light Tour will be held Dec. 6. Winning homes and streets will be featured in The Signal on Dec. 12. A new "People's Choice" award will be voted on at www.the-signal.com.

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So you lost your job, the wife is touring Europe with your therapist, and your dog wants a trial separation. Your retirement account is a shadow of its former self, and your home is slipping toward foreclosure. Is that what's getting you down? Well, fight it, brother, fight it.

Now is not the time to circle your wagons, conserve and slip into depression. Now is the time to put on an insanely happy face, pump your nonexistent cash into the economy - and blast the darkness away with the lights and colors and music of the most outrageous outdoor Christmas decoration display you can muster.

And we, at The Signal, will help you focus. We'll provide another reason for the season with our 15th annual Holiday Light Tour. This year the theme is "Home for the Holidays."

Tour de farce
Yes, it's almost that time again. Our band of carbo-crazed Signal elves will tour the town on Dec. 6. And if you have given us the 411 on your home or neighborhood ahead of time (and it's passed a preliminary judging), we'll come by that evening and let you wow us with your artistic interpretation of what the holiday season means to you. Christmas, Chanukah, Nightmare Before Christmas - anything goes.

Bigger is better. Gaudy is good. Motion, music and miniatures are marvelous. But sometimes old school and simple stand out. I mean, picture us about 9 p.m., exhausted, twitching, and with our heads pounding from a continual assault of light and noise and candy canes. A peaceful stop in front of a manger, with "Silent Night" softly playing in the air, might give us a moment to reflect on our own places in the plan.

And we might remember that moment and give you a good score. No promises, though.

Now I'm just one judge, but personally, I'm not really big on blow-ups. Besides, the wind may have them down when we come by or, as happened at one location last year, we came by after they'd been turned off.

Puddles of nylon on the lawn don't make it.

Decorating with a theme in mind often impresses us, especially if we can figure out what that theme is. So you might want to be out front to greet us and explain. We really do enjoy meeting the families that make the season bright. (And we enjoy sampling their cookies, hot chocolate, chili and whatever). Many of these folks have become friends over the years, and we look forward to seeing what they have added or changed. These folks are also very good at house-decorating, and very good at schmoozing the judges. A few have been champions more than once.

This year's "official" theme is "Home for the Holidays." We're not saying you have to decorate to our theme, but we do have a prize for "Best Theme" display.

But really, winning is not the reason you should be doing this. You're doing it to spur the economy on, drive your neighbors crazy and maybe, just maybe, see your home in the newspaper. Any way it comes down, it's fun for you, fun for us, and fun for all the slackers in the SCV who will reap the benefits of your hard work - reading about your home or neighborhood in The Signal and coming by to traffic-jam your streets.

Yeah, that's the good stuff.

All kidding aside, the holiday light tour brings back a bit of the good old days, when people actually came out of their houses and talked to their neighbors. It helps us, at The Signal, get in touch with our readers, too. While your Christmas spirit might come from a higher source, don't hide it under a bushel. Let it shine, baby! We'd like to share it with you.

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