Spirit of the Season: Neighbors 'buying in' to lights
While Toyon Way draws the most visitors and gawkers come the holidays, sometimes blocking residents from exiting their driveways, lights and decorations are twinkling on surrounding streets.
Steve Allard, whose family of four moved onto nearby Red Bud Lane last October, said more neighbors are stringing more lights than last year.
"We're just trying to participate, not compete," Allard said of his family's move from basic lights during their first Christmas in the area to more decorations this time around.
Toyon residents like Ryan Howard just look for the house with the "Elf"-themed setup, have noticed the spreading of the spirit.
"(Toyon) has always been Christmas Street, but a lot of people in the neighborhood are buying in," he said.
Before arriving in the neighborhood near River Valley High School, Steve Allard said he was familiar with Toyon's legacy, but a neighbor was quick to explain that the flashing lights, inflatable snow globes and moving figurines were the rule rather than the exception come Christmas time.
"This was kind of then neighborly hint of 'please participate'" Allard said.
Of course, having two daughters, 3 and 6, growing up amid the magic helps the whole family become immersed in the festivities. He said he came home from work on a recent Monday night to find the two with a question that would leave Santa Claus smiling.
"Dad, can we go walk the neighborhood?" he recalled them saying.