Christmas lights display on Eucalyptus Avenue, San Carlos

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The Catalyst / Ashley Strain

House located in the center of the first Eucalyptus block is elaborately decorated in colorful Christmas lights.

Families flood Eucalyptus Avenue in San Carlos, filled with Christmas cheer, ready to kickstart the holiday season. Commonly known as Christmas Tree Lane, the street of Eucalyptus has created a community tradition as Bay Area residents stroll down the street, taking in the infamous light display.

The Christmas decorating tradition is disclosed to potential residents before purchasing a home on Eucalyptus Avenue and they are highly encouraged to contribute to the block-wide display.

Houses start to put their lights up and begin decorating around Thanksgiving in order to have a completed display by December. The lights stay up for the entirety of the season and are taken down on December 26, the day following Christmas.

Stephanie and Nathaniel Moody, Eucalyptus homeowners and long-time San Carlos residents, maintain the brightest light display on the block. The Moody family has been living on Eucalyptus Avenue for 21 years and have participated in the Christmas light display ever since.

Each year in the evenings of December, traffic overflows onto surrounding streets, Tamarack Avenue, Orange Avenue and Brittan Avenue. Although there is the option to walk down the street, many have trouble finding parking in the packed residential neighborhood. Living in the center of the block, traffic can grow to be unmanageable on usual December evenings.

I always think walking the street is better than driving and encourage people to do that because car traffic can get crazy, especially as we get closer to Christmas.”

— Stephanie Moody

“The traffic depends and is never really predictable. I always think walking the street is better than driving and encourage people to do that because car traffic can get crazy, especially as we get closer to Christmas,” Moody shared. “The weekends are always the busiest time to visit. We also get a lot of people on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”

Because visiting costs no money, some come to visit the street on a nightly basis. The neighbors’ involvement in the block makes the experience more entertaining as they help spread the Christmas cheer. Many houses have special traditions that they established and evolve each year.

“We have a lot of traditions around decorating and enjoying the season. As a family we host a party which has come to be known as ‘Sing-a-long’, which is basically Christmas Karaoke on our front porch. We have been doing this for 15 years and it is always one of my favorite nights of the season,” Moody said. “Otherwise we do what everyone who visits the street does; we walk around and enjoy the lights and decorations.”

Although contributing to the light display each year can be a hefty responsibility, Bay Area residents are attracted from all over to experience the infamous Christmas display and holiday cheer that fills the block.