Christmas Card Lane

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32°58′06″N 117°07′47″W / 32.96825°N 117.129770°W / 32.96825; -117.129770 (Christmas Card Lane)

Typical Christmas Card Lane display

Christmas Card Lane is a holiday light display in San Diego, California in the community of Rancho Penasquitos. It is one of the most famous holiday displays in San Diego.[1][2][3][4] Residents erect giant plywood greetings in their front yards depicting cartoon characters, religious images, or Christmas themes.


Christmas Card Lane was started in 1982 by resident Alana Hastings as a way to share the Christmas spirit of the tight-knit community with others in the city.[5] Residents began to call local radio stations to advertise Christmas Card Lane.[5] Initially 15 families on Ellingham Street participated. Now there are about 200, spreading onto Oviedo and Renato streets.[1]

Displays range from Mickey Mouse representing the famous Christmas Carol to testing out the new naughty-or-nice software. Some displays are so elaborate residents have to keep parts up all year.[6][7] School and scouting organizations often sell baked goods and hot chocolate and members of the local school bands play Christmas carols, while other organizations will rent horse-drawn carriages, double decker buses, or limousines and sing carols while driving around the neighborhood.[5]

The displays start going up right after Thanksgiving, with most in place by the second week of December and staying there through New Year's. Some displays require weeks of preparation.[5]


Visitors often park and walk, but many drive slowly around the neighborhood, creating extreme congestion on Fridays and Saturdays.[8] Residents often complain of the congestion and inconsiderate visitors. Some visitors blast loud music from their cars, while others scream late into the night, while others still blast sirens and horns as they drive around the neighborhood.[9] The displays are also constant targets of thieves and vandals, whose constant attacks have discouraged some residents from participating as enthusiastically over the years.[5].


  1. ^ a b Sherman, Pat (2004-12-24). "Christmas Card Lane is town's version of North Pole". San Diego Union Tribune.
  2. ^ North County Times/The Californian - Jeff Frank
  3. ^ Christmas Light Displays Around San Diego
  4. ^ Rancho Penasquitos, San Diego, California: Information and Much More from
  5. ^ a b c d e Lopez, Jose (December 7, 2006). "Christmas Card Lane lights up Rancho Penasquitos". Pomerado Newspaper Group. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
  6. ^ McKinley, Shay (2000-12-15). "Christmas cards draw a festive crowd". San Diego Union Tribune.
  7. ^ McKinley, Shay (2001-12-15). "Light display infused with red, white and blue". San Diego Union Tribune.
  8. ^ Real Estate San Diego California - Don King Realtor San Diego Rancho Bernardo California Relocation - Homes Weather and News - President Reagan
  9. ^ Why is Rancho Penasquitos a bad choice? (San Diego, El Cajon: real estate, housing) - San Diego - California (CA) - Page 2 - City-Data Forum

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