Hanging snowflakes beat out leaping lords By Karen White / Senior Times Writer Dec 21 2001 SANTA MARIA — The snowflakes beat “the 12 Days of Christmas” and the “rein-dears” in the annual Santa Maria Superior Court Holiday Decorating Contest held in the North County Superior Court offices. Presiding Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville and court administrator Darrell Parker judged the contest at the court offices in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Solvang. The contest is designed to encourage holiday cheer for the thousands of customers who are served at the various offices each week. Or, as an unidentified clerk explained, “we go nuts at Christmas.” The decorating is financed by the employees and is done outside of work time. Many lunch hours went into this year’s efforts. The winner, the Cook Civil Division, used a red, white and blue Christmas theme for their victory. They won a 10-inch trophy with a Santa Claus on top. They will keep the trophy for the next year. Red and white Santa hats on all the employees in the office, and a ceiling covered with white hand-cut snowflakes may have led to this year’s victory. The snowflakes hung from threads so they would wave in the breeze. A white Christmas tree was trimmed in red and blue, with flashing white lights. Blue Christmas wrapping paper, topped with red velvet ribbons, covered the panels between the service windows, with lights and blue Christmas balls all around. All the employees dressed in red, white and blue, including patriotic T-shirts. Another major entry, working for the win, was the Miller Court Clerk’s office. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus were on hand, along with the “12 Days of Christmas” in music and displays. Each desk had a different display, like “Ten Lords A Leaping” in paper dolls, with a different judge’s face on each “lord.” The swans swam on a mirror, beside a small desktop fountain, while the hens came with eggs and the maids with cows. All the desks were decorated with white tinsel and lights. A “dear” crossing sign and employees with lighted reindeer horns were features of the Miller information office. Red, white and blue also was featured in the Miller criminal offices. * Senior staff Writer Karen White can be reached at (805) 739-2217 or by e-mail at kwhite@pulitzer.net. :nav Source: http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/2001/12/21/news/export1058.txt

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