Once upon a time there was a Norfolk Island Pine tree from Cost Plus Nursery. It was just a little potted plant when it came to stay in the living room of Tom Taylor and Jerry Goldstein back in 1970. But it grew so big they had to plant it in the front yard of their quaint victorian house on Castro Hill. About 30 years ago, when the tree was a mere 6 feet, the men started decorating it as part of a Christmas display.
Over the years the tree and the display have grown exponentially AND become an enduring Icon of Christmas in the bay! Today the tree is a towering 65 feet, and the display has expanded to include oversized gifts and stockings, roller coasters, dancing dolls and ferris wheels.
“It got so big that I couldn’t just throw lights on it anymore,” Jerry remembers. “I wanted it to be like what you experience when you were a child, because the most important thing to you when you were a child was the presents, the toys and the stuff you’re going to get.”
The spectacle attracts thousands of visitors every year and takes about 6 weeks to assemble. There’s even a live Santa to pass out candy canes and caution visitors about cracks in the pavement!
What’s more, they don’t accept personal donations which just shows how generous their holiday spirit truly is. If you need a mood lift, head to Church St and 21st any night before Jan. 1st. Be mindful that it is a quiet residential block, so parking away from the property is encouraged.