Let's be honest, when it comes to Christmas traditions and unique holiday offerings, Lubbock needs some ho-ho-help.

Other than professionally-installed, antiseptic holiday lights in every newly constructed subdivision, the Hub City is not exactly known for holiday spectacles, the Smiling Bush's annual makeover and Santa Land notwithstanding.

Along those lines, if we can't invent some new Christmas traditions, we may as well steal one from another city using materials that are certainly in abundance.

Like this...

Photo by Luismi Sánchez on Unsplash
Photo by Luismi Sánchez on Unsplash
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That's right -- the State Flower of West Texas, the humble tumbleweed.

This morning, we were joking in the office about Christmas Trees and decorations, when I offhandedly and sarcastically mentioned that I was planning to take a tumbleweed, stake it down in my front yard, put a string of Christmas lights on it and call it a day.

Our fearless leader shattered my dreams of originality by saying that our socialist neighbors to the west in Albuquerque, New Mexico have a tumbleweed snowman they spray paint white every year and display on the side of Interstate 40.

This I had to look up. Damn, they beat us to it...

Every year, the Albuquerque Metro Arroyo Flood Control Authority sets up and displays a MONSTER tumbleweed snowman. According to their website, the snowman stands on average 12-14 feet tall and is 8 feet wide. It's made up of just three super-sized tumbleweeds stacked one of top of the other.

From the AMAFCA website:

His decorations are made of recycled materials. The eyes, mouth and buttons are made from scrap metal, his nose is a broken ax handle, his hands are old work gloves, and his hat is a 55-gallon drum. His scarf is knitted by the mother-in-law of one of our maintenance crew...

So much for using a carrot for his nose, eh?

Last year, the snowman was decorated with a facemask because tumbleweed snowmen are apparently in a COVID-19 high-risk category.

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With the proliferation of tumbleweeds adorning the South Plains and the fact that Lubbock is much more connected to tumbleweed lore than Albuquerque will ever be, doesn't it make sense to co-opt this idea and make it our own? How about calling it the Lubbock Tumbleweed Snowman? Or somehow convince someone to cut down two smaller bushes and glue them on top of the Lubbock Smiling Bush to make a Smiling Bush snowman?

See? Now we're thinking outside the box, people!

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Drama alert. The famous smiling bush of Lubbock was decorated for Thanksgiving (as per tradition) earlier this week. But locals were shocked when the bush was bare a day later. Apparently, the owner of the home wasn't a fan of the decorations and asked for them to be pulled down. What happened next was a back-and-forth on social media, an airing of grievances and an outpouring of support for what the smiling bush means to Lubbock.

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