It’s Just Not Christmas Without The Lights


It’s All About The Lights

Ever since the majority of us were children, we could tell it was Christmastime when we started seeing the lights going up in the neighborhood.  I remember bugging my folks (and my kids bugging me) to drive us around to look at everyone’s light displays.  It is still one of the few things that, as an adult, gives me a little of that feeling from when I was a kid and then a young parent…It’s still got the magic.

Ah…the lovely drive by lights…

We are fortunate in our area to have so many people who love doing light displays, If you have gone anywhere in the Gilham Rd area for example, you’ll know what I mean.  Of course, you will also discover how popular they are by the amount of traffic you are in.  A couple of years ago I even plopped down the cash for a limo light tour.  That was fun.  This year I found something different, still about the (awesome) lights, but without the car, traffic or pressure to move on from gawking at other peoples yards.  This year I checked out Christmas At The Village Green.


I was invited down to check it out and decided this would be a good opportunity for a quirky overnight pre-birthday celebration with my sweetheart.  I went for the nifty overnight package they were offering and made my plans.  What a great decision.  We not only had a great time (a really great time), but it felt like Christmas.  More on this later.


If you aren’t familiar with the Village Green, it’s a small resort hotel down in Cottage Grove featuring a 14-acre garden, onsite movie theater, outdoor pool, and onsite restaurant. newly upgraded rooms, good food, live music, and RV Park, etc.  It’s one of those places I’d been to as a kid (about 100 years ago) and had largely forgotten about for a couple of decades.  The last time I’d been there (long ago) the rooms were very rustic and it seemed like someplace I’d visit again when I was at least 70 yrs old.  Wow have things changed.  It’s nice, cozy, not like being just outside of town at all.

In fact I need to give a shout out to the fantastic staff there.  If you eat in the dining room (recommended – the meat dishes are ALL really well prepared), ask for Victor.  He took great care of us as did Cassie at the front desk.  Nice job on the lights too.

VG has some very clever lighting designs

The Christmas Light Experience

While I tend to sidestep rules, find my own path and generally miss the experience as designed, this time I decided to play along.  After getting checked in and the car unloaded in our cozy (fireplace!) room and enjoying a delicious meal in the VG restaurant, we took the tickets that came with our overnight package and headed to the lobby to get our wristbands.


A trio of VG Elves greeted us with smiles and got us ready to go.  Not before a demo of the Jingle hat, and a look at the Christmas tree through their nifty (3d looking) Christmas glasses – you want some of these.  So armed with our wristbands and Christmas glasses we headed for the lights – all 300k+ of them.

The first thing you’ll notice, if you are lucky, is the constant laughing and joy of little voices.  There were a number of families with little ones already in the wonderland and that upped my anticipation noticeably.  Even though it was a little rainy and cold as we headed in, the lights were great.  My favorite single displays were the “Rhody” – clever – and “The Falls”.

“The Falls”

There are lots of “rest stops” for the grown-ups, featuring appropriately relaxing beverages along with nibbles and treats for younger people.

You may as well buy come kettlecorn before you even taste it, it will save you time. It’s the perfect thing to enjoy while walking the light show, visiting the vendor booths and even hanging out in the upstairs balcony watching kids running around or making s’mores (they have little kits!) over the outdoor firepits.

We even caught the excellent Neil Johnson performing in the kid chill and craft (letters to Santa) area.

We made some purchases on Vendor Row (their first time having vendors – hope they continue to do this).

A clever little ornament from one of the vendor booths

Before taking a little timeout in the upstairs loft for a little GluhWein and Cognac.  We used the drink vouchers that came with our room package.

Since I had to keep Jorie up past midnight so we could celebrate her birthday, we decided to head to the VG lounge and see who was playing.  To our delight, it turned out to be the multi-talented, and very entertaining Joe Stoddard.

We met a bunch of new friends, danced and sang with Joe, laughed at his Dylan impression (complete with cotton), cheered his spot on Louis Armstrong impression and generally enjoyed his easy good humor.  I also got a tremendous gift – the lovely and talented Mikayle Stole of was there and I managed to get her out on the dance floor!

The Village Green was so much fun we’re planning to do the lights at least 1 more time with some friends before it ends.  If it hadn’t been for the lights…

Christmas At The Village Green runs most evenings through December 31st.  Be sure to check the calendar for blackout dates, for ticket prices, and to see who is performing.

Most of all, grab your sweetheart (with or without the kids!) and make a night of it.  Tell them Kelly at Eugene Daily News sent you.


Kelly Asay is an entrepreneur, software developer and performing musician. As the publisher of Eugene Daily News, Asay is continually searching, finding and promoting the best unknown journalists, photographers and inspirational people from all over Lane County.

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