lights lights lights

Last year we did this with the kids and it was a great success soo.... Annual Christmas Lights Tour? Most certainly. 

We gave the kids their tubbys and got them all warm in their jammies and plopped them in the nice warm van with hot chocolate (warm) and chocolate milk and popcorn. And out into the blustery cold night full of flurries we went. Quite the good night for it. We also took blurry semi-dark car pictures. I need a tutorial. How to take photos at night. Ashley? Dayna? Anyone? ;)

I found a new place to go to this year, Krasley Christmas, they dubbed themselves. The house itself was in Manheim which as we all know is where we live now so it was a definite stop on the list. The music they played was popular music with Christmas lyrics. Think Billy Mack and Christmas is All Around. I especially like how they added an extra syllable in the fourth line.

The main stop on the tour was Messick's. Only in Central PA could you take a tractor parking lot, add in some lights and people would flock from all around to view it. Which is exactly what we did and I'm not even a little bit ashamed. It is a 15-20 minute show and afterwards they just ask for donations for some such charity, which I mean, tis the season. The kids got out of their car seats and sat on our laps and had a grand ole time. Tractors. Who would have thought? Also? Snow!

I think most parents would agree that the hours after dinner and before bedtime are quite difficult. We call them the Witching Hours here. My house becomes destroyed on a whole other level. The noise volume goes up about ten more octaves. And occupying them and saving our sanity become of utmost importance. But hot chocolate and a jammie car ride with lights? It's a win win. 



  1. get out! I love this idea, and I love you!

    The tractor light display is totally awesome. I feel like we don't have any awesome lights to look at around here but maybe we'll try this on Christmas Eve just for fun:)

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!

  2. PS. You need a tripod for low light photos;) also, invest in an external flash!

  3. Letty looks so grown up in that picture in the car seat. I think I just saw teenager Letty in there! I know, I'm shutting up ;)

    And snow. Oh snow... It's hot here again so once again I live vicariously through you.

    Better Winter Living Through Olsen.

  4. Oh and I almost forgot. Low light pictures! You'll need to switch your camera to manual and crank your ISO. Shutter speed to maybe 160 if you have a steady hand. Aperture as wide as your lens can open. Depending on your camera things could get crunchy and grainy. And yes, a tripod is a wonderful thing to have.

    You can freeze motion with a strobe and still work with a slow shutter speed but I'm still learning the fine points of lighting with strobes and off camera lights.

    May I suggest Canon's plastic fantastic? 50mm 1.8. $100. The best bang for lens buck. Gosh it occurs to me I don't even know what kind of camera you're shooting with. I'm a bad friend.

  5. These are lovely! And thanks for the camera tips above! Ps love your many holiday traditions. something they will appreciate always (even if it's not until later)


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