Every Year: Tacky Lights Tour
This Year: Monument Avenue Lights 

Tasteful Lights

Enough, already. There's plenty to dazzle you during the holidays without overloading your circuits. And why waste gasoline sizing up how certain residents of certain neighborhoods play one-upsmanship with colored Christmas lights? How many rooftop Santas can you stand in one evening? Instead, relax your senses and find your inner Christmas with a walk down Monument Avenue in the Fan. Here, like a fine strand of pearls, are arranged one fine mansion after another, all gussied up for the holidays. And unlike residents of ritzy gated communities, many Monument Avenue dwellers (like their Fan District neighbors) welcome passersby who want to ogle at their finery. Heck, they even keep their shades, shutters and curtains open after dark, affording revealing views into front halls and parlors. And what is it about Fan decorating: Does everyone have a red-walled front room? Why not? Crimson only adds to the festive, seasonal spirit. After dark, walk the historic district beginning at either Stuart Circle and promenading westward, or beginning at the Ashe statue at Roseneath and proceeding eastward. As you progress, you'll discover that while the street is handsomely preserved, it isn't necessarily reserved. And if you must have your fix of lights, the 2300 block of Monument always provides some particularly elegant but extravagant electrical displays. And for biggest Christmas tree on the avenue (at least the one that's visible from the street) stroll up the north side of the 2600 block. But best of all are the tiny white candles in the windows of most of the homes. If Richmond dubs itself "The City of Candlelight," nowhere is the effect more sublime than along this historic thoroughfare.

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