Friday, December 2 , 2016, 4:36 pm | Fair 60º


Captain’s Log: Take a Stroll Amid Seasonal Outdoor Splendor

Admire the lights and adornments of neighborhood holiday displays — and get in a decent workout, too.

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An evening stroll is a great way to admire holiday decorations in your neighborhood. (Capt. David Bacon / Noozhawk photo)

Right now provides ample opportunity for enjoying the seasonal outdoor splendor of one of mankind’s most overtly gracious celebrations — adorning homes, businesses, boats and even people and pets with holiday lights and decorations. Get outdoors and admire beauty in your own neighborhood.

Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)
The adornments are often called Christmas decorations; however, that is not a term that suits everyone and every decoration. Christmas is a religious holiday observed by a great many denominations. Not everyone recognizes it as a significant religious holiday, yet I am gratified that so many join in the festive spirit and decorate their homes or at least appreciate the bright colorful handiwork of others just for the fun and camaraderie of community activity. It is a time for being tolerant of differing views and being gracious enough to celebrate one another’s heritage and beliefs.

I confess: This is my favorite time of year to take an evening stroll. Exercising isn’t even on my mind, although I do get in some decent physical exertion.

The twinkling lights and ingenious ornamental gadgets are fun, and they make me grin. I get a decent workout because I tend to walk briskly until I approach a house or stretch of houses brightly lit up. Then I slow or even stop to admire the display. After a couple of hours, I find I have covered quite a distance and feel like I got in my legwork for the day.

In deference to the often-chilly weather at this time of year, pick an early evening without much wind or any rain for your stroll. On a calm evening, a good jacket, warm pants and my ever-present western hat are enough to keep me sufficiently warm.

Keep plans simple. Spend one evening taking a stroll through your own neighborhood. About a half-dozen blocks will do it for me, unless I’ve spent much of the day in front of my computer tapping out columns, in which case I need a longer stroll.

Keep mental notes while driving about town, so that you can later take a drive and visit some of the most highly decorated areas. It is fun to park the car and stroll the area. The harbor has some nicely lit-up boats. If you missed the annual Parade of Lights, the boats are usually lit up until after Christmas.

The decorative season generally extends past Christmas and into the new year. That is plenty of time to find a couple of calm evenings for a holiday stroll. Put on some warm clothes and get on out there to enjoy the sights. One nice thing about taking a stroll at this time of year is that more folks tend to exchange a “Howdy” and a smile. That makes us feel good.

Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need.

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