When Alan Adams was a child, he loved it when his parents took him to Christmas Street on the east side of the Salt Lake valley. When he grew up and moved to Taylorsville, he came up with the idea to have a Christmas Street of his own.
Adams presented the idea to his neighbors at a neighborhood barbecue over 25 years ago, and the neighbors loved it! They found various books of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and found the pictures they wanted to have on each house. Alan got the boards, painted them white, borrowed an overhead projector, got a book from the library and projected on the boards so they could pencil in the drawings. The neighbors all met in one of the garages and painted the boards.
On the street there are only four of the original people. All the rest have come and gone. When neighbors sell their home, they inform new buyers of their responsibility to keep Christmas Street alive. They almost always leave their decorations and then new owners add to it. If someone does not have enough decorations, neighbors will pitch in and help.
Kathy Reed, one of the original residents of Christmas Street said that their five grown kids still come back to help decorate. “We love to do this for the community,” she said.
Reed said that they don’t even mind the inconvenience of getting in and out of their driveway when traffic becomes heavy. “We try to do as much shopping and coming and going during the day.” Sometimes if they need to run home for a minute, they will park on another street and walk to their house.
The lights go on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. At 6 p.m. neighbors start at the first house and turn on lights and go from house to house. Then they meet in a neighbor’s garage for donuts and hot chocolate.
Christmas Street begins at 5295 South 3310 West in Taylorsville. Last Saturday I took my 7 year old and he loved it! In fact, Santa was standing in front of one of the homes handing out candy canes. Adams said Santa volunteers his time and they split the cost of the candy.
“Every once in awhile we get a letter that says how the lights have given someone joy and hope in their lives,” said Adams. “That’s the reason we do this.”