10 Christmas Displays You Should Only See if You're Drunk


Christmas and the weeks leading up to it are a magical time of year filled with joy, laughter, good tidings, blah blah blah....whatever. It's cute to think of it this way, but it's also a time of stress, dealing with family crap, spending too much money, eating too much food, and drinking too much. My apologies, I meant everything but the last one---thank God for the booze to get us through. Now that we've got a drink, or five, in us, let's take a trip around the country, and a few jumps around the world, to see the craziest Christmas displays, festivals, and parties that only get better with alcohol.


1. Bronner's Christmas Wonderland - Frankenmuth, Michigan



Bronner's is awesome, weird, and freaky as funk. It bills itself as the world's largest Christmas store, is open all year, and there is stuff EVERYWHERE. Life size Santas, nutcrackers, reindeer, elves---you name it and you'll find it at Bronner's, staring at you with its lifeless eyes. If you're not drunk at Bronner's, you'll want to be before you go to bed so you can forget about a plastic Mrs. Claus coming to life to kill you in your sleep.


2. Miracle on 34th Street - Baltimore, Maryland



Golly gee, it's a damn Christmas miracle, literally. An entire block of 34th Street in Baltimore has been lighting things up for decades and calling it the Miracle on 34th Street. I think there's an old saying about bells ringing and angels bringing me another shot of tequila, or something like that. Pack the flask and your anti-seizure medication if you find yourself walking down 34th Street in Baltimore this season.


3. Garabedian House (The Christmas House) - Bronx, New York



WTF and WTW are the only two phrases that come to mind when the Bronx's famed "Christmas House" comes to mind. You know what the first one means, and the second one is "Where's the Whiskey?" It's like Walmart and Madame Tussaud's got liquored up on half price Long Island Iced Tea night at the local bar, woke up naked next to each other, and nine months later this house was born. If you want to get your Christmas on with Michael Jackson, Nicole Kidman, Elizabeth Taylor, and a host of other weird, twirling, dancing mannequins, my guess is you could use a drink too. In case you need it weirder, everything is behind chain link fence. Bartender, make it a double.


4. Candy Cane Lane - Prairie Village, Kansas



Candy Cane Lane can be looked at in two ways. First, you can admire it for its quintessential American, apple pie, white picket fence, DIY aesthetic. It is truly a neighborhood endeavor. The second way of looking at it is the same way you look at Uncle Donnie. Uncle Donnie was a great high school quarterback, I think he made all-conference back in '86. But that was thirty years ago, and the only thing Candy Cane Lane makes me want is another peppermint schnapps laced mug of coffee.


5. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - Orlando, Florida



There are very few things in our galaxy that make me want to drink more than Disney and Christmas. The thought of combining Disney and Christmas just makes me want to be drunk already. The only magic I want out of this kingdom is a cup that refills itself so I can't feel the pain in my face from the smile I have been holding for hours so that the Disney Secret Service doesn't pick me out as a "non-believer" and I find myself in a windowless room in the basement of Cinderella's castle.


6. Branson Festival of Christmas Lights - Branson, Missouri



One of my fondest memories of going to Branson as a child is the time a family of six walked out of the Country Bear Jamboree show and the patriarch of the family proclaimed "Man! Them bears is funnnnnnnny!" for all the world to hear. In tribute to Randy (that's what we're calling him) I would like to say "Man! Them lights is purty!" as I take another sip from my "water bottle" and wait for the madness to end.


7. Krampusnacht - Klagenfurt, Austria



Now we're talking. The Krampus is terrifying, and Krampusnacht (Krampus Night) is a drunken celebration of the fabled Eastern European creature whose legend involves traveling around on Christmas Eve and kidnapping the bad kids while Santa leaves presents for the good ones. Krampus looks like the Grinch on steroids and meth, and there is no way in hell I am celebrating that on the streets of Klagenfurt without several drinks in my stomach and several more in my hands.


8. Robolights - Palm Springs, California



Robots will one day take over our planet, killing those who resist and enslaving those of us who survive out of pure, robot spite. Robolights proves they are already trying to lull humans into believing they care about us with this whimsical, sci-fi look at what future awaits us. I find a nice chardonnay goes well with the contemplation of the demise of humankind, and don't worry about saving the cork because we're going to finish that bottle.


9. Lighted Tractor Parade - Calistoga, California



We're in Napa now, the home of some of the greatest wine in the world. We're also standing on the street watching a parade of tractors covered in Christmas lights. This is what our life has turned into. Hopefully there is enough room in my fanny pack or the pockets of my pleated slacks for a trendy stainless steel carafe of my favorite pinot noir. Sorry, can't chat though, the massive smartphone in my belt holster is playing a Nickelback song to alert me that I have a new friend request on Myspace.


10. Night of the Radishes - Oaxaca, Mexico



On December 23rd you can travel to Oaxaca, Mexico to see a celebration of Christmas using nativity scenes that are completely carved from radishes. No, I'm not joking. Radishes. Let that sink in for a bit if you need to. I'll be over at the cantina, celebrating tequila, which is not made from radishes.

This list is proof that drinking makes anything fun, so fill 'er up and go find your Christmas joy!

Drew likes to drink, likes to celebrate, and likes to get his Christmas on no matter where he is.