December 2, 2015
The local botanical garden spends hundreds of hours each year string elaborate Christmas lights all over the garden. Winter Garden Aglow at the Idaho Botanical Garden. They define each pathway, trail like ivy up each pillar and gate and fence. They have a group of model train enthusiast who set up they’re trains and little kids stand and point out the tiny Christmas tree on the Polar Express as it winds it’s way through the bigger display. They give out cookies and hot chocolate and hot apple cider. The gardens are far enough outside the city limits that there isn’t the light pollution that would distract from such a beautiful display. The garden and lights serpentine up the side of a hill and on the edge is the castle-like structure of the old penitentiary. I’ve taken many family members there but love it best when it is me and my two girls, bundled in deep layers like Ralphie’s brother Randy from A Christmas Story. We do the lower levels then warm up next to one of the open fire braziers and then take the hot chocolates or apple cider up into the mountain, trekking to a point that looks out over the lights of the city.
It’s romantic and picturesque. If you go on a night where there is a live music, perhaps the local men’s choir, it would be a perfect opportunity to stage a proposal.
For a long time I’ve wanted to put it in one of my books. Maybe Jake and Peat could go there on a date, get lost in the dark corner of the Japanese section to steal kisses and hot touches. Maybe Harriett and Captain Valdez could volunteer to help set up for a performance and end up curled under an archway next to one of the braziers listening to Christmas carols.
It is beautiful fodder for a book. It conjures all the sensory details of smell, taste, touch, sight and sound. What kind of Christmas traditions would you put in a book? What is your favorite Christmas book?