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The Kloewer's last stand: Turning the switch on an Englewood holiday tradition

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Jews like me are always finding ways to pass the time when the rest of you are putting up and taking down your trees. Sure, we light our little candles for eight nights (whenever those might fall), exchange gifts, and share latkes and chocolate gelt and other holiday delicacies, but it just doesn't seem quite as time-consuming. In my case, that means there's plenty of room for the great equalizing pastime of Christmas-light peeping, something I never get tired of, though it drives my husband and child nuts.

"Again?" they whine, when every year about this time I force them out into the cold to give in to the light, which I do believe is something akin to the force. And since the time when we lived in Englewood ten or so years ago, that's meant visiting the Kloewer home, a modest house at 4990 South Elati Street that's come alive every Christmastime for nearly thirty years with my most favorite collection of well-lit and nostalgic kitsch in the world.

But that's all coming to halt after this season, and though it's sad news for me, it's good news to the Kloewers, who are looking forward to enjoying life -- and cheaper electric bills -- a little more in the future. Who can blame them? Anyway, if you've never experienced the Kloewer lighting display and garden trains before, it's now or never: Herd yourselves into the car and prepare to spend some time; the lights officially switch off on January 5.

Incidentally, the family is auctioning off most of their decorations; get your bid sheet on the premises and leave it in the donation box, or e-mail bids directly. And here's a teaser, if you're just not quite certain you're ready for this.

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