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Alameda’s Christmas Tree Lane begins

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Alameda’s Christmas Tree Lane begins

PHOTO BY ANDREW COOPER/THE PIONEER

PHOTO BY ANDREW COOPER/THE PIONEER

PHOTO BY ANDREW COOPER/THE PIONEER

By Andrew Cooper, CONTRIBUTOR

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Every December, the residents of Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda decorate their houses with lights and holiday decorations. The block has been a destination for people around the San Francisco Bay Area who have admired its holiday spirit for over eight decades.
“My husband and I come to Christmas Tree Lane every year,” said Sara Rogers, a resident of Pinole. “We’ve been to Christmas Tree Lanes all over the Bay Area, yet find ourselves always coming back to Thompson Avenue. It’s something about the community’s spirit and the smiles on everybody that makes this one extra special.”
Indulging in Christmas decorations has been a tradition on the 3200 block of Thompson Avenue since 1938, according to the Alameda Christmas Tree Lane’s Facebook page.
The houses on the block display a variety of themes ranging from old Christmas movies to religious symbols. Some regular decoration themes include: The Grinch, The Abominable Snowman and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Many houses also display their religious beliefs, which range from crosses with lights and nativity scenes to illuminated menorahs and giant Stars of David. “The decorations are a great representation of what the city of Alameda is,” said Rogers. “It’s great to see all of these different cultures expressing their beliefs and knowing it is welcomed by the rest of the neighborhood. Everyone is included and welcome to Christmas Tree Lane and the community makes sure visitors know that.”
Houses on the block officially began to show off their strung lights and creative displays on Dec. 1 this year. The block will remain decorated until New Year’s Eve and houses will keep their lights on from 5:30 p.m until 10 p.m., according to the Mercury News.
A handful of holiday activities take place throughout the month alongside the decorations. A special mailbox for kids to send their letters to Santa is put on the street’s median every year and Santa himself will be present on Christmas Tree Lane on the evenings of Dec. 8 through Dec. 23, according to the Mercury News.
Neighborhood children pass out candy canes and dress up as elves, and Girl Scouts sell Christmas cookies and hot chocolate for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.
“It’s a family tradition for us and our kids,” said Nikki L., a resident of Alameda. “It makes the holidays more festive and brings a lot of spirit to Alameda. We appreciate it a lot.”
Thompson Avenue has established itself as one of the top five neighborhoods to visit in the Bay Area for holiday decorations through their Christmas cheer and consistency, according to KPIX SF Bay Area. The block does not have any special plans to celebrate their 80-year milestone and will just go about their December tradition like any other year.

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