Editor's note: News Tribune graphics artist Jim Dyke wrote this article his tongue firmly planted in cheek, but he's deadly serious about inviting you to participate in the home decorating contest.
What's all this talk about saving energy? Shouldn't we be burning energy and creating a demand for decorative electrical items as a way to brighten up the economy?
I'm just saying, we may as well invest in Christmas lights and decorations because heaven knows CDs and money markets sure aren't producing much interest.
Oh, I'm sorry, were you waiting for politicians to make things better? Ho ho ho.
What Wall Street really needs is more ladders and lights, not more legislation.
Let Washington debate the extension of tax cuts while we debate the extension of cords needed to light up a plastic Santa down on Adrian's Island.
Join the fun of the annual Home Decorating Contest sponsored by the News Tribune; Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department; Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce; and Cottonstone Gallery and Frame Shop.
It's a great way to stimulate holiday spirit and get an immediate return of happiness on your investment.
You can decorate virtually anything you own. Take those blue trash canisters sitting out in front of your house for example. Or, for an exciting turnabout, how about a roundabout that's all decked out?
You can enter this event as a competitor or simply to have your home listed on the Tour of Lights map so people can be sure to come by and enjoy your display. The entry deadline is Dec. 3.
An entry form and complete details can be found on page B8 in Sunday's paper. Forms are also available at the sponsors' locations or by going to the Contest page at newstribune.com.
The easiest way to enter is to e-mail your name, street address, ward number and the category you want to enter to email@example.com. Or call them at 634-6482.
Put "lights contest" in the email's subject line. If you are not competing in a category, just say "Tour of Lights Map only."
The five categories for competitors are: Best Use of Lights, Best Religious Display, Best Use of Christmas Characters, Christmas Elegance and City's Best. To qualify for the City's Best category, you must be a previous Mayor's Award winner.
The first round of judging happens on the evenings of Dec. 7-9 and will reveal five first-place winners in each city ward - that's one for each category, which is a total of 25 first-place preliminary winners in the city.
Round two in the competition takes place Dec. 13 and requires judges to select from the 25 firstplace winners to find one citywide winner in each category. These five winners will be crowned the 2010 Mayor's Award winners.
A special yard sign will be displayed in the front lawn of each winner for all to see.