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Yuletide trees spread joy in Old Palo Alto

Original post made on Dec 23, 2013

Debbie Nichols' remembrances of her Old Palo Alto neighborhood at Christmas time do not include colored lights and boughs of holly. As a child, one memory stands out.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, December 21, 2013, 9:36 AM

Comments (10)

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Posted by D&E
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

BRAVO! My husband & I happened to be in the neighborhood and were delighted to see the tree lined streets.
What a wonderful tradition. May it grow in the coming years.
Merry Christmas


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Posted by Savannah Grace Murphy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Many mornings I walk from Waverly and Forest to Oregon and back and was not aware of the reason for the trees but it brought a smile to my face because it was obvious that it was someone's idea to create a generational tradition! Many streets in Willow Glen have a similar expression of the holiday! It's a lovely way to stay connected. Thank you for the efforts to make the community bright!


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Posted by LaNell Mimmack
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Hi Debbie
What a wonderful and sweet idea!


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Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 24, 2013 at 5:53 am

Excellent, Debbie (and friends). Merry Christmas!


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Posted by Jeanne Wangsness
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm

This is a wonderful achievement; thanks Debbie & associates. Your example vividly demonstrates how creative efforts can develop community interaction, and how valuable this exchange can be in the lives of local residents. We need to follow this example throughout the mid-Peninsula! Happy Holidays!


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Posted by stanhutchings
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm

stanhutchings is a registered user.

I enjoy walking down Bryant from Loma Verda to Seale in the early evening, enjoying the glorious lights especially in Old Palo Alto. I was amazed by the Santa and reindeer flying high above the neighborhood, and the Christmas trees lighting my way.
Thanks to all the participants that make my walk so enjoyable this time of year.


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Posted by Tom Phillips
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm

My parents and I lived on Christmas Tree Lane many years ago and I'm very glad to hear the spirit of Christmas grow in my former hometown.

Tom Phillips, Mountain Home, Arkansas


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Posted by How Come
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 27, 2013 at 9:56 pm

How come every year there are houses on Xmas Tree Lane that do not participate? I have always heard that to live there, one had to agree to decorate at Xmas time?

What if someone buys a house there and the new owner is not a Christian?


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Posted by lights are beautiful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2013 at 11:03 am

@How Come,
I suspect people who don't participate are either traveling, sick, elderly, etc. I thought people had to agree to decorate when they bought there, too. But the religion of the buyer? Come on, do you really think Christmas trees, lights, winter decorations, Jingle Bells, sleigh rides, buying things, are Christian religious rites? Santa Claus has nothing to do with Christianity, by the way, and consumerism in lieu of the religious is actually considered a sacrilege by the very religious.

The vast majority of people who celebrate Christmas celebrate it as a secular holiday. Even people who profess to be Christians.

Do you hold back on celebrating Valentine's Day because it's named after St. Valentine? If people aren't Christians, they don't go to church on Christmas Eve and ponder the birth of Christ or read from the Bible. Believe it or not, there is absolutely zero about tree decorating, candy canes, and snowmen in the Bible.

I know Jews who get trees, decorate, and exchange gifts. It's not making a Christian statement, it's celebrating a winter solstice holiday, which comes to us from pagans anyway, as we all know. Somehow about 25 years ago, we all got hung up on conflating the secular holiday with the religious one, which I find just weird since those who are religious are taught how too much involvement with the secular holiday goes against and detracts from the religious values. Getting gifts and all the other stuff is so much fun, though, most Christians like to ignore that. Why should they have all the fun (just for practicing their religion so loosely)?

People who decorate with nativity scenes - yep, Christians. Frosty the Snowman? Santa Claus? Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer? Elves in the North Pole? They just don't have any association with Christianity, and those who think so are just robbing themselves and others of a fun community celebration in the cold of winter by confusing them.

I think this is great! How long do the decorations stay up? Thanks to Debbie and Merry Christmas!!


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 30, 2013 at 10:38 am

There is no covenant that declares Fulton residents have to participate. This is a free country.

All my life I can tell you that not every Fulton house participates.


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