BARRY COURTER: Two more days, Lisa. Can you stand you it? The big day is almost here, which means some of us are looking for things to do to complete the holiday mood and festivities. A lot of folks like to load the kiddies and maybe some visiting relatives into the minivan and drive around town looking at the Christmas lights. Do you have a favorite place to go to see them?
LISA DENTON: I love the Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City, of course, but I'm happy just to drive around to see how regular folks decorate. I've even discovered a house in my neighborhood that has the lights synchronized to songs.
When you pull up in front of the house, it tells you where to set your car radio, then you can watch and listen as four Christmas trees on the roof "sing" and the rest of the lights keep the beat with the music. It's like being in Da Club. You want to get out and dance in their yard -- which I might do if they promise not to call Soddy-Daisy's finest. I really don't want to go back to jail this close to Christmas.
I kid. Really, I do. But remind me to tell you about the song I sing this time of year to the tune of "Silver Bells." It's called "Silverdale."
Anyway, you can find a bunch more places with great decorations on an interactive map of Holiday Lights & Sights at www.ChattanoogaNow.com.
BARRY: Some people are a lot nicer than I am. I turn the sprinklers on when people start dancing in my yard. And I'm talking about neighbors and relatives. I'm not sure what I'd do about complete strangers.
Anyway, over in my neck of the woods, there is a neighborhood in East Ridge that is beautiful. All the houses and the common area they share are decorated. It's on Jason Drive, but if you can find Fountain Avenue, you'll find it. Just follow the bright lights in the sky.
LISA: That reminds me of a cartoon I saw the other day. It showed a woman looking out a window and seeing Santa's sleigh silhouetted against the sky. She exclaims, "It looks like reindeer!" Her husband, who's seated with his back to her, says, "Rain??? The weatherman's calling for snow, dear."
BARRY: That's rich. And don't forgot to call your pastor or church office to find out exactly what time Midnight Mass begins tomorrow. They love that. I'm kidding, of course. It starts at midnight. That's why they call it that.
LISA: That's too funny. We Methodists don't do Mass, but maybe I'll call my preacher to see what night we're having our Christmas Eve candlelight service.
And don't forget that ArtFront is presenting Jim Avett in a concert at Barking Legs Theater on Friday. I'm sure you recognize the last name, and he is, in fact, the daddy of The Avett Brothers, Scott and Seth. He's actually recorded with his famous sons, as well as daughter Bonnie, on a gospel collection back in 2008.
BARRY: And the Enchanted Garden is open for the next two weekends, so if you need a little quiet time from visiting relatives, give them a little "movie money," as we call it, and point them up the mountain. Or down the road.
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Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...
Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.