Saturday, December 10, 2011

All is Merry & Bright

Happy December 10th!
Are you finding yourself singing the song
"We need a little Christmas {RIGHT this very minute!}"?
Well, I have just the rememdy and you will be in a
Christmas-y mood in no time flat.

The Christmas season holds a special kind of excitement and anticipation.It's spending time with family and close friends. and  often, these Christmastime traditions are associated with cold weather and the fluffy white flakes that people experience in the North.
In Southern California, where the ground stays green, we find ways other than enjoying snow to make the Christmas experience something altogether memorable.

 In my little part of the world there is an area that has become pretty famous for a few blocks that go all out with their Christmas decorations. It's in Alta Loma on Thoroughbred Street where decorating houses has become a tradition in this neighborhood and it draws people together to experience the festive spirit of Christmas, all without the white stuff.

Turning onto Thoroughbred Street  any time between early December and Christmas is big pain in the derierre BUT sooooo worth it!
It has slowly evolved into an experience that is like stepping into a different world where Christmas spirit hangs in the air and where houses that line the street are carefully covered in shimmering lights and shiny bells, and where Christmas music plays around it all. The whole scene exudes the festive excitement of the holidays! 

The story of the Thoroughbred Street neighborhood {at Christmas}...

Since 1986, decorating houses has become more and more of a Christmas tradition on Thoroughbred Street and now, nearly every house is completely covered in lights and decorations.

The tradition of decorating homes on Thoroughbred began as a competition between two neighbors to see who could put up the most lights, and slowly, over the years, the competition brought more lights that started to cover not only the front trees, but the entire house, all of the other trees, and sometimes even the grass. Soon more and more people in the neighborhood were becoming involved and those who didn’t decorate started to find signs in their front yards that said “scrooge.” Now, while it is not mandatory, and while it is not a competition of any sort, nearly every house in the neighborhood is elaborately arrayed with Christmas lights, Santa Clause figures, nutcrackers, elves, angels, wise men, snowmen and gingerbread men all which line the homes and streets for our viewing pleasure!

As it gets closer to Christmas, Thoroughbred Street becomes progressively swamped with cheerful viewers.  Police have come on especially busy nights (and there were a couple cute ones checkin me out last night-haha) to direct traffic and to keep people moving through.
 It was estimated that last year 15,000 people went through the street in a single night, and that it took cars an average of 4-5 hours to drive a car through the neighborhood!

Over the past 10 years we have made this a tradition for our family and  we have seen the growth in numbers and the length of time it takes to drive thru the neighborhood. Last night it took us two hours! We started at 9:30 and didn't finish until 11:30. The three little ones fell asleep before we even got started. Aw.

Now, not only do you have the viewing pleasure of twinkling lights but your tastebuds can be tempted with many sweet treats while you walk or drive through the neighborhood. In their drive-ways,the neighbors have begun selling hot chocolate, churros, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. This year we even saw cupcakes, bbq and carmel apples. Oh! The commercial-ism!! Even NBC Los Angeles was in the 'hood last night.
 Most drive-way's also have the glow of portable fire-pits keeping home owners warm and cozy while people watching.

Needless to say, your senses will be tickled in every way and we make it a tradition every year. And we definitely go more than once!

So for those who will be in California during Christmas and might be having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit without snow, going to see the lights on Thoroughbred Street { Or one like it in your neck of the woods} might be exactly what you need. You won't be disapointed!

Enjoy the photos!!

Until next time.....

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful"

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