Cook's Illustrated


y dad’s not much of a music lover. He doesn’t have a beloved album collection or a list of favorite singers and, to the dismay of all passengers, prefers to drive in silence. But there’s one day of the year when all that, and drive us from neighborhood to neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. As Elvis crooned and we cruised down winding country roads, around cul-de-sacs, and by the town common, we’d all give commentary on the quality and quantity of decorations (I always marveled at the houses that went for all blue lights). Eventually the serpentine roads and my dad’s enthusiastic right foot would get the better of me and I’d feel carsick. Time to head home? Certainly not. My dad would open the windows and sunroof to allow fresh air in and then blast the heat to keep us all just left of hypothermia. On those nights everything was blue—“Blue Christmas,” blue lights, blue lips.

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