Christmas 2011: notable absences

I’m not about to go negative here, I just would like to fondly remember a few Christmas decorations that have brought a lot of joy in the past but were absent this year. Above is the Paul Schaff house, located southwest of Mandan. It was an amazing display, but he stopped doing it after his wife passed away. You could see it from the Seven Seas restaurant!

This tree on Northview Lane used to be decorated from bottom to top. Under its current ownership, however, it’s only decorated a little ways up. I see the house is listed for sale, so let’s hope that the new owners have a cherry-picker!

Speaking of trees, this one on north Fourth Street (just past Divide Avenue) was one of my personal favorites. It was decorated with class and was enormous. It was dark this year.

Back to Northview Lane – this house at the top of the hill had flashing lights, but I didn’t see a sign indicating a radio station for it to sync with. Since he was on 107.5 before The River (now MOJO 107.5) came on the air, I wonder if he got drowned out. Time to spend a hundred bucks on a frequency-agile transmitter, guys.

Another house on a cul-de-sac just past the top of the hill was a home decorated with lots of characters and lights…it too sat dark this Christmas.

2011 is going to go down as a year in which a LOT of things just didn’t happen. Many people’s lives were turned upside down due to the flooding and other events this year, so I certainly don’t want to come across the wrong way by highlighting an absence of decorations. Again, these displays brought joy to a lot of people, and we miss ’em. That’s all. Hopefully new ones and old favorites like the Chmielewskis will keep all parts of Bismarck and Mandan bright with Christmas cheer next year, while proving those pesky Mayans wrong once and for all!

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