I am a fan of both Christmas decorations, especially Christmas lights, and Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO).
Trans Siberian Orchestra
I first saw Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO) in about 2004. They have become a Christmas tradition. I have seen them about four times during the holidays. The band was formed in 1993, and I first heard of them around 2002. They were playing at a small venue in downtown San Antonio. Now they fill basketball arenas, sometimes for two shows!
TSO marries classical with rock music. They bring a huge show wherever they go. They have several guitarists, a violinist, two keyboardists, and numerous vocalists. They also bring in members of the local area orchestra. They always donate a percentage of the ticket sales to the local Food Bank.
TSO has grown in popularity and visibility, especially over the last six or eight years. Videos have started popping up all over the world of houses decorated with Christmas lights, timed to one of TSO’s numbers. I have pulled together a collection of these for you!
1. "Wizards in Winter"
2. "Christmas Eve in Sarajevo"
Enjoying Christmas Lights in S.C.
Growing up, one of our family traditions during the Christmas Season was getting in the car and riding around to see the Christmas lights. Certain neighborhoods, and eventually certain houses, became favorites because they always put on a great light show. Sometimes we even drove to neighboring towns because friends or relatives told us about other great finds.
3. "Wish Liszt"
4. "Nutcracker Suite"
Driving to See the Displays
I remember a few years that we would drive 20 or so miles to a small town where my father had an auto shop, and my mother worked in the mill. My dad knew a local businessman who had a large yard brimming with lighted decorations. Even as a child, the irony of the crazy mix of religious and secular scenes was striking to me. Santa and Jesus were in crazy proximity to each other!
5. "Queen of the Winter Night"
6. "Faith Noel"
Each House Had Its Own Style
Other favorite houses had less emphasis on figures and scenes and were primarily just multi-colored lights or white lights around the windows, doors, and roofline of houses, and lights in various trees and shrubs.
7. "Oh Come All Ye Faithful"/"O Holy Night"
8. "March of the Kings"
Christmas Lights in Texas
When I moved to Texas, it was a jackpot for Christmas lights. Texans go all out! You can take a drive around almost any neighborhood in Texas and enjoy wonderful Christmas decorations. I especially love the icicle-style drape lights from the roof line of houses.
9. "Siberian Sleigh Ride"
10. "Boughs of Holly"
How Much Is Too Much?
One day, I came home from work to find that my across-the-street neighbor had put Santa and his sleigh on his roof. This included the wire reindeer with white twinkle lights, one to represent each of the eight, with Rudolph leading the way. I thought it was charming and among my favorite Christmas decorations. Then over the next few days, he continued to add decorations to his house and yard. And add. And add. It kind of ruined the whole effect.
My other neighbor told me the reindeer neighbor had added another power box to his house to accommodate all the Christmas lights! I live in a different neighborhood now, but maybe I’ll take a drive to see if Santa and the reindeer are on the roof!
11. "Good King Joy"
12. "Whoville Medley"
One of my new Christmas traditions is visiting Santa’s Ranch off of Interstate 35, between San Marcos and New Braunfels, Texas. There are over 100 religious and secular displays done in over 1 million lights, which you enjoy from your drive-through in your vehicle. I have been to Santa’s Ranch three or four times. Pricing is per vehicle, and sometimes there is a discount with a food bank donation. Season passes are available for the cost of two trips.
© 2010 rmcrayne
Bexar91 on December 17, 2012:
TSO first played San Antonio on Dec. 21, 2001 in Municipal Auditorium.
Dec. 20, 2002 in the SBC Center, Dec. 12, 2003 in the SBC Center, Dec. 12, 2004 in the SBC Center, Dec. 16, 2005 in the SBC Center, Dec. 23, 2006 in the AT&T Center, Dec. 23, 2007 in the AT&T Center, Jan. 2, 2009 in the AT&T Center, Dec. 26, 2009 in the AT&T Center, Dec. 4, 2010 in the AT&T Center, Dec. 22, 2011 in the AT&T Center and they will perform this Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 in the AT&T Center.
rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on January 20, 2012:
Jewelz I have been very fortunate to have seen TSO. Would you believe I've actually lost track? Have I seen them 3 times, or is it 4 now?!
Jewelz1313 from Branson, Missouri on January 18, 2012:
Awesome. I love the Transiberian Orchestra. Every year around Christmas time I youtube these guys. Thanks for putting it all on one page. Voted up.
rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on January 30, 2011:
I hear you SJerZGirl. The word "manic" comes to mind.
SJerZGirl on January 04, 2011:
One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the lights. I also love listening to TSO's sound. But, although I've watched in amazement as people orchestrate their lights to TSO arrangements, I'm not sure I appreciate that combination as much as I do each of them individually. It just seems to be "overkill".
rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on November 29, 2010:
Thanks so much RedElf. I'm just tickled!
RedElf from Canada on November 29, 2010:
For all the years I lived in the city, I only ever got to Candy Cane Lane a few times, but I have the pictures and my memories. I LOVE the TSO! Thanks so much for the great coffee break, Rose Mary, I watched every single one :D - rated up, shared on FB.
rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on November 27, 2010:
Thanks for visiting dahoglund. I was stationed in IL twice. The second time there my drive to/from base was rural. I got to see some nice displays on modest homes.
Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on November 27, 2010:
Certainly impressive displays. We used to like to get out in the countryside where some folks also had elaborate displays in Illinois.