It would be easy to be cynical and complain that on top of Austin losing its iconic Trail of Lights, the 20-year neighborhood fallback in Hyde Park doesn't shine as bright anymore either.
But you're not going to catch me getting all Bah-Humbug about any effort to make Austin more festive for the holiday season.
On the contrary, while the 37th Street Christmas Lights display has seen better years (lots of dark houses this time around), it still has the sparkle and charm that make a 20-minute stroll through this mini Christmas Wonderland well worth the time and parking effort.
The display is known as one of the best lit blocks in Texas, with quirky details and artistic touches that shift from year to year and fall under no set guidelines or rules.
The short block between Guadalupe and Home streets is a mix of renters and homeowners, and the landlords clearly don't have it written in the leases that tenants are required to keep up this festive tradition of draping thousands of lights over rooftops and on trees and across powerlines that crisscross the street. I suppose it's hard to force holiday cheer on someone.
Then again, one short trip down 37th Street after dark, and it's hard to imagine a way to escape the Christmas spirit.
So put away the Grinch, stop complaining, and give some love to the folks who do their best to keep up the waxing and waning tradition each year. For free. At great time and expense to themselves. Stop by 37th Street, take your picture with the disco ball and the blinged-out Baby Jesus, and finish your trek with a hot cup of apple cider — and a belly full of holiday fun.