GRAPEVINE Being the Christmas Capital of Texas is no easy matter. Just ask the Grapevine City Council, which has been looking at decoration options ranging from a 35-foot-tall red raffia reindeer to simple, Victorian-style ornaments.
The city for this year has budgeted about $250,000, compared to $150,000 last year, to spiff up its Christmas presence on Main Street.
The display currently is very bright but a little worn around the edges in places such as Liberty Plaza.
"That's the area [of the display] where we really need to spend our money," Mayor William D. Tate said at a pre-council work session in October.
He and the council saw ideas from Jim Ketchum and the Lonesome Dove Design Team that included the big reindeer, plus an 18-foot animated Santa waving from the water tower.
There also were slides depicting Christmas trees on the City Hall balconies, the building's walls bathed in the glow of multicolored lights.
Many of the ideas didn't mesh with Tate's notions about a Grapevine Christmas. He wants more of an old-time feel in the downtown historic district.
"Being a little dark downtown adds a little romance to it, to me," he said. "If you light it up too much you're going to ruin the whole setting. As far as I'm concerned, we may be trying too hard."
He noted that the first Grapevine Christmas in 1844 had no lights at all.
Other ideas included taking the lights off the windmill and putting up a lighted wooden star.
Ketchum and the design team are working with city staff on fresh ideas that could be executed by purchasing a few decorations and repurposing others.
No vote was taken because the presentation was not made during the regular council meeting.