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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Best Christmas Lights in San Jose, CA

Well I finally did it. Something I've wanted to do ever since I saw the movie Christmas Vacation. I went and saw some over-the-top Christmas light displays put up by some very nice and community spirited people.

Click on each image to enlarge

I found them by typing "best christmas lights san jose" into Google. Up came the website California Christmas Lights, a resource of the best holiday lights in Silicon Valley.




Homeowner Dave just happened to step out to walk his dog while hubby and I were out front with our cameras on tripods. We were still there when he got back so he stayed and chatted us up for awhile.

These are all LED lights so he said his electricity usage is surprisingly economical for as many lights as you'll see wrapping his house, shrubs, trees, reindeer and the many other decorations on his lawn, driveway and roof.


Turns out the eight reindeer on his front lawn were garage sale finds. If you ever decide to get rid of your white wire reindeer you might want to swing by and drop them off. Dave will refurbish them with a fresh coat of paint, string new lights through them and either decorate his own home with them or gives them to friends and family so they can decorate their yards like his.


Though I'm sure no one else's yard looks just like his. It's truly a winter wonderland when you stand on the sidewalk and gaze at his masterpiece.


I especially loved this little holiday penguin.


Dave's house is in San Jose near the Cambrian Park area with the closest main arterial being Leigh x Curtner


We then headed west to visit a multiplex at 595 Nido Drive, Campbell, CA


This display in particular focuses on peace as it is a memorial to Christine Noela Orciuch by her niece Debi. A description at the four plex says that the four men responsible for her death were each given life in prison without the possibility of parole. One, received life plus 38 years.

I came home, Googled her name and learned that Christine, a mother of three, wife and all around kind hearted person was holding open the credit union door for a man on crutches, when she became the innocent victim of an armed bank robbery. She had walked into the robbery in progress, turned to run and was shot through the heart just outside the bank as one of her children (her 11 year old son) waited in the car.


Debi single handedly puts up this display each year and was outside putting up more decorations when we arrived so I was able to say hello and chat with her for just a bit. Her lights are more than just a display to view from the sidewalk, there are plenty of signs that invite visitors to step into the courtyard to see the rest of her winter wonderland. There are many smaller vignettes in the courtyard including this lit train set.


And a traditional Christmas tree.

The nearest main arterial is South Winchester Blvd x Budd Ave

Debi and Dave are both really nice people. The kind of friendly people you can sometimes forget exist these days. They both open their hearts to strangers by spreading the Christmas spirit not just for their friends and family or even their neighbors to enjoy as most of us do, they share their love of Christmas with the entire Bay Area. Both Dave and Debi are thrilled when people take the time to come visit their light displays.

There are still a few more locations I'm hoping to visit by Christmas Day. I'll keep you posted if we go. This was a fun way to learn more about night photography still shooting in manual mode using the new camera and a tripod. I think it was pretty successful :)

You can view more locations of great light displays at www.CaliforniaChristmasLights.com

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