When you spend the holidays in Florida, it's occasionally easy to forget that it's Christmastime, especially if you grew up in the often snowy, always cold Midwest. Fortunately, there are people down here who work to will Christmas into the tropics. And nobody works harder than the folks at The Oakdale Christmas House in St. Petersburg. Operating since 1977, it's a massive, front yard display of shiny Christmas doo-dads. Very little of it is original work. Mostly it's toys and lawn decorations from the past few decades set up in a series of brightly lighted, almost shrine-like displays. The front yard, for instance, features a Teddy Ruxpin, helpfully labeled "Talking Teddy Bear":
The house combines items pretty randomly. One display features a pair of angels spinning in the air as they book end Minnie Mouse:
There are some original characters however. Meet Mr. Slush and his family. And their disco ball:
But it's not all cartoon characters and inflatable snow globes. Peppered throughout are reminders that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birth. Often in the most unexpected places:
Honestly, the whole thing can't be properly experienced unless you're there. So I'll try for the next best thing. Here's a video. Note the clip of a televangelist playing in the background. I didn't realize until I finished taking the video that the display had a TV at the top but it's in frame at one point. Merry Christmas!
Update: Stevie also blogs about this.