Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day 20 - Outdoor Decorations

On the 20th day of Christmas,
my neighbors gave me a treat,
they lighted up the whole darn street!

1) Did people in your neighborhood decorate with lights?

When I was a kid (1950s and 60s), there were few lights outside the homes, if any, in San Diego. We had no lights outside the house, mainly because we lived on the second floor and with the lighted Christmas tree in the cubby-hole, it was visible to passers-by on the street.

Starting in about 1970 (when we married), I noticed that some neighbors would string lights around their roof eaves or on a bush or tree in the yard. We put strings of lights on our roof eaves all across the front of the house and garage and in the entry-way starting in about 1975 until about 1995. We haven't done it since, mainly due to safety reasons (I'm not confident on the roof any more!). With our daughters away from home, we were often not home at Christmas time.

This year, several of our neighbors on our cul-de-sac have the mesh-lights on their eaves, and several have blow-up displays or lighted figures in their front yard.

2) Did some people really go "all out" when decorating?

Oh yes. And they still do, even more. One of the Christmas traditions for our little family in the 1975 to 1985 period was to drive around "Candy Cane Lane" and "Christmas Tree Circle" in Chula Vista to see the outdoor displays - lights, scenes, music, etc. One of our family traditions for awhile was to go to a pizza place with family friends, then drive by the lighted streets, and then have a gift exchange at our house with the friends. Unfortunately, theym oved away, and we haven't done it since.

"Candy Cane Lane" is gone, but "Christmas Tree Circle" still exists in Chula Vista. There are many more of these neighborhood displays now all over the San Diego area. I saw a map in a local magazine yesterday of the biggest and best displays. Someone could drive around to about 20 sites using the map.

This post will be part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" carnival - organized by Thomas MacEntee at the Destination: Austin Family blog. Please go to Thomas' blog and read the submissions for each day.

I forgot to submit yesterday's "Christmas Card" post to the carnival. Oh well.

1 comment:

Terry Thornton said...

Randy, Your Candy Cane Lane reminded me of a town we lived once. Each area decided to compete with all the others; one year, the belle cows who decide these things decreed that our neighborhood was Candy Cane Lane and each homeowner was left with a printed sheet explaining in great detail how to take some white sewer pipe, glue, red ribbon, and, presto, instant huge candy cane. I made two; they looked like white sewer pipe with red ribbon. The entire neighborhood looked like plumbers central. LOL!