Indianapolis, like most cities and towns, glitters and glams it up for Christmas time. The big attraction is the Tree of Lights--thousands of lights strung from the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to form the shape of the tree. They hold a big lighting celebration every year right after Thanksgiving. We have never been to the lighting because we are always out of town. I'm pretty sure we would never go because it attracts thousands of people and I'm not much for people. Well, I guess individually and in small groups some of them are okay, but en masse? Nope. I don't like people that much. Why yes, I am the Grinch! Why do you ask?
Anyway! We used to try to go downtown to see the tree every year--not that it changes from year to year, but it's festive and fun and we don't go downtown much. But as the kids got older we got busier and just couldn't weave it into our schedules. This year, however, I discovered that the last time we were down there, Mary was a toddler. That's just wrong! She didn't even remember it--couldn't even fathom a tree made of lights! She kept asking me things like "So is it a giant Christmas tree? Where did they find such a big tree?" and after further explanation, "What do you mean there aren't any branches? How can it be a tree without any branches?"
We made the decision that it was time to head downtown to see the tree and take a carriage ride around the Circle. Unfortunately, because of a perfect storm of forgetfulness, seat placement, and cold, of all the pictures I took only two of them are any good. The other I'm posting is the one the carriage people took with my camera. I forgot to change the settings so it's dark. I lightened it up, but it's still dark and quite grainy, but it's what we have.
I predicted to my mother that Mary's reaction would be something along the lines of "that doesn't look like a tree at all!" but that she would still like it. I was dead on. Even down to the wording. But she did like it-- and our carriage ride. And our Clydesdale horse named Chase that was gracious enough to pull us. And the hot chocolate she drank afterwards.
It was a good night. We made some memories and that's one of the best gifts ever.