Cruising the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights has become seasonal ritual for many people. It's an inexpensive way to celebrate the season with the whole family, while putting up fabulous displays for passersby to enjoy helps others ramp up their own holiday spirit. The steady march of technology has made the kinds of decorations available much more varied, animated - and affordable - and the more attractive neighborhoods attract mini traffic jams as folks roll slowly by, taking in the sights.
Here at the Press, we want to share some of what you see with everyone, and award prizes to the people who do the best job. We call it the Share the Spirit Contest, and from now until Christmas we'll be taking nominations for the best-decorated homes in East County. We'll post pictures of the best in a slide show on our Web site, www.brentwoodpress.com, and ask visitors to the site to vote for their favorites.
On the day after Christmas, we'll tally up the votes and announce the winners in three categories: Most Religious, Most Kid Appeal and Most Spectacular. The winners will earn a cash prize and, in the spirit of the season, a donation will be made in their name to a local charity.
We'll also be looking for the most lit-up neighborhood, and award our first Neighborhood Spirit Award. That prize will be a block party for everyone involved, to be held next summer.
To enter, e-mail the address and a description - along with a photo, if possible - to email@example.com. To vote, log on to our Web site, click on "Contests" and view the slide show. Then send an e-mail naming your favorite(s) to the Spirit Contest e-mail address.
Only one vote per category will be counted, and only one e-mail can be sent from each e-mail address entering. Homes and businesses are eligible, but the decorations must be visible from the street. Homes do not need to be part of the Web site's slide show to get votes.