A regular feature of the News Tribune's Health section is a graphic called "GET FIT." The Tuesday feature uses photos and text to demonstrate an exercise you can try.
Along those same lines, allow me to introduce you to my very own "GET LIT" feature. I'm your personal trainer for getting your residence in shape to enter the 26th annual Home Decorating Contest. Let's begin now.
STEP ONE: Stretch out on the couch. Keep your back straight and your neck as comfortable as possible as you read the lights contest entry form and rules on page 8C in today's News Tribune newspaper.
Drink plenty of hot chocolate during this step. It will help you understand what the whole thing is all about.
STEP TWO: With a back-and-forth motion, move your eyes across the list of five categories you can enter: Best Use of Lights; Best Religious Display; Best Use of Christmas Characters; Christmas Elegance; City's Best (reserved for previous Mayor's Award winners.) Add to this exercise by occasionally reaching your arm as close as you can to the coffee table to grab another sugar cookie.
STEP THREE: Carefully lift an ink pen of a weight you are comfortable with, and mark the form to indicate if you wish to compete in the contest or simply be included on the "Tour of Lights" map which will be published in the Dec. 13 News Tribune.
All competitors and non-competitors will be on the map, so residents can enjoy touring the city to see the work you have done. Balance the weight of the pen in your hand by holding a candy cane in the opposite hand.
STEP FOUR: Increase your speed; get on the ball. Make sure your entry form is received by Friday's deadline. Mail to: Christmas Decorating Contest, Parks and Recreation, 427 Monroe St., Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Another option is to email your name, address, ward number and category to: email@example.com. In case you drop the ball, call parks at 634-6482 and just tell them the needed information.
STEP FIVE: Using a ladder from your basement or garage, begin climbing up the rungs while lifting a string of lights in one hand. Up the ladder, down the ladder, up, down, up, down, lift the lights, up, down, to the right, up, down, to the left... come on now, keep it going ...
The 26th annual Home Decorating Contest is sponsored by News Tribune, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce and Cottonstone Gallery and Frame Shop.