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Photo gallery: Christmas Tree Lane

Original post made on Dec 24, 2012

Christmas Tree Lane (Fulton Street between Embarcadero Road and Seale Avenue) has been a continuous Palo Alto tradition since 1940, when it was conceived over a bridge table -- with blackouts only during World War II and later during the 1973 energy crisis. Photos by Andre Zandona/Palo Alto Online.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 24, 2012, 12:26 PM

Comments (22)

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

A great Palo Alto tradition

We really appreciate the many nativity scenes celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ


Posted by does not believe, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm

When is the city going to creak down on the gross violations of the law that occur during this event? Or is the city and the weekly afraid to address this issue? I would also like to see an event like this to celebrate other fictional characters


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

@ Scrooge, err, "does not believe:"

You have 362 other days of the year to celebrate your lack of beliefs. Please allow the majority Christians in this nation to enjoy Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving without your bitterness about loving and celebrating the one that you call a "fictional character."

Of course, it is odd that you would call Jesus a "fictional character" when his life -- and death -- were taken into account by those pagan Roman historians too.


Posted by does not believe, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Nayeli- no one is preventing Christians from enjoying Christmas. And if your faith is shaken by my comments, well......
in this country we are allowed to criticize other religions and cast doubt. That is what makes America great.
Oh, Thanksgiving is not a Christ-based holiday.


Posted by does not believe, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Also, nayeli, I am surprised that a Christian like yourself feels the need to engage in name calling as well, especially on the day you claim is so important to you.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Nayeli is perfectly correct


88% of Americans are Christian and Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving are all Christian events.

Sad the the rabid Anti-Christians are spreading their venom yet again

They will never learn their lessons from history-too bad for them



Posted by does not believe, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Thanks, Sharon, for your expected comments. it does not matter what percent of this country is Christian. That is one of the major pluses of this country-there is no state religion and all are free to believe what they want. Too bad you consider disahreements over religion to be " venom". What " lessons" from history are you referring to? The Holocaust perhaps? You should familiarize yourself with our concepts of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm

@ does not believe:

Believe me: Your comments cannot "shake" my faith. Nor will I allow someone's vain attempt at ridicule diminish what this holiday means for me and the vast majority of Americans. You can complain that it is "illegal" -- but it is still an official FEDERAL holiday.

As for your notion about "Thanksgiving" not being a Christian holiday: I wouldn't necessarily call it a "Christian" holiday as much as I would call it an official holiday in which this nation was encouraged to call upon God. You should read the Thanksgiving proclamations of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Of course, you probably fancy their words in this instance as pointless anyway.

I don't have a problem with you doubting the existence of God. However, you have meandered beyond that point. Like many others who "don't believe" and feel a need to tell everyone, you also feel a deep need to cast public scorn on others because they have a sacred faith. You are entitled to your opinion, but your methods are as ironically bitter as any crazy televangelist peddling that thing that you seem to despise. It is often the radical "evangelists" of atheism who make the sincere atheist cringe as well.

I apologize if my "scrooge" comment was offensive to you. Of course, you publicly ridiculed the sacred faith held by the vast majority of Americans when you mocked the holiday as celebrating "fictional characters." I guess that you have an easier time giving than receiving.

Seriously: Even if you don't "believe," you can still respect the feelings of those who do and avoid publicly despising what is considered sacred to so many. You might even hold some respect for Jesus or his philosophy ("judge not lest ye be judged" or "do unto others as you would have them do unto you") even if you don't embrace the "whole package" of who he was or what he claimed.

Merry Christmas!


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm

@ does not believe:

Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789:

Web Link

Lincoln's Thankgsgiving Proclamation, 1863:

Web Link


Posted by does not believe, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Nayeli, perhaps you should go back and read the links you posted. There is no mention of christianity in either proclomation. And you will note that Washington mentions our religious freedom.
As to your long comment before that, it is too bad that you go on and on about respecting your religion and not "ridiculing" your religion (All this you derive from a single comment where I state that Jesus was a fictional character), yet you do not respect my right to disagree with your religion or my right to record my opinions. You also go to great lengths to ridicule my beliefs. Like a religious zealot you, of course, feel that you are right and any opinions not in agreement with yours are to be disparaged. Like Sharon, you should look into or countries concepts of freedom of religion and speech.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

There are many fictional characters in Christmas Tree Lane, nutcracker characters, Santa Claus, Christmas Elves, flying reindeer. They are charming as are the trees which are fabulous and come from pagan traditions. All are enjoyed by the many who visit and those who do not wish to are free to go elsewhere.

There are also many Nativity Scenes around town which are also beautiful. There are also other signs of the other December festivals.

For anyone who wants to choose to ignore the season of peace on Earth, Good Will to all men (and women), you are welcome to do so. But please don't spoil it for those of us who enjoy the time of family, celebrations, and wonder. It is a season of joy, fun and laughter. If you choose to consider this time the same as the rest of the year, that is fine by me. But for those who choose to celebrate I will say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Posted by Thanks for the lights!!, a resident of Community Center
on Dec 25, 2012 at 1:08 am

does not believe,

"yet you do not respect my right to disagree with your religion or my right to record my opinions."

I think your ability to record your opinions here is only controlled by the Weekly Editor. Generally though, these threads die pretty quickly when the posts deviate too much from the topic. You might see this one fizzle pretty quickly

Back to Christmas Tree Lane,

Thank you Fulton street residents! and to everyone who decorates - the lights are fun during these days of winter, and rain, and cold. THank you for the lights!


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

@ do not believe:

I think that you misunderstood me. Previously, I said, "I wouldn't necessarily call it a "Christian" holiday as much as I would call it an official holiday in which this nation was encouraged to call upon God."

Either way, it is exceedingly clear that atheism is not the state religion of America. The First Amendment provides for freedom OF religion, not necessarily freedom FROM it.

My participation in this thread was to simply refute the notion that it is "illegal." I wanted to point out that there are many "religious" references in life. Today is Tuesday. The name "Tuesday" is derived from "Tiwaz's Day." Tiwaz was the Germanic god of war and law. Not too many people get upset at the names of our days and months despite those religious references.

I suppose that I just find it humorous that some individuals grow so upset at references in life. I am not Jewish, but I can value the traditions and holidays held by Jews. The same is true of other religions of which I do not adhere. While the government cannot endorse religion, there is nothing wrong with it recognizing them either.

I think that it is very important to understand the gravity of offense when someone insults the sacred beliefs held by others. For many Americans, their faith is a preeminent part of their lives. When something is that important -- that sacred -- you can imagine the feeling that someone else has when they watch, hear or read someone ridiculing that sacred faith.

Regardless: I hope that you have a wonderful day. I have lived in Palo Alto for just over four years. Each year, I have enjoyed the sense of wonder from visiting "Christmas Tree Lane." I hope that this tradition is kept for many years to come!


Posted by does not believe, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Nayeli, let me clear the air, my references to violations of the law had nothing to do with Christmas itself. I am referring to cars driving without lights st night, structures on roofs and lack of permits for the event.


Posted by intolerance in the name of religion, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Based on Nalelyi's comments it would appear that those that do not believe in Christ-centered religions, and by that nature they "do not believe" are guilty of grievous sins against the "christians" in this country. She accuses them of "ridiculing" and "despising" a "sacred faith". Let's ignore the fact that in america people have the fundemental right to do just that.
Nayeli then goes on to state:
"I think that it is very important to understand the gravity of offense when someone insults the sacred beliefs held by others.".

Well what is the basis of christianity??? The fact that the only way to heaven is through christ. By making that broad statement aren't christians insulting the sacred beliefs held by people of other religions (jews, hindus, muslims, etc)??? Certain christians will tell you that if you do not have jesus in your heart you will go to hell!!!! Isn't that an insult to people's sacred beliefs.
Is it alright for that to occur? Is it because christains are the majority in this country.
What I find amusing, at times, is when these christ-based religions turn on one another--with the protestants, catholics and mormons at times stating that their way is the only way and the other churches are wrong!!!

It now appears that Nayeli's postings were made based on a misconception--the original poster did not state that "christianity" was illegal. However, nayeli has clearly shown her lack of tolerance or understanding for how others feel


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm

@ intolerance:

That is just silly. You either didn't fully read my comments or didn't understand what I was writing at all.

My post was not about Christianity in general. In fact, I clearly stated so...twice.

I do understand how I may have incorrectly read between the lines of the original post (and second on this message board) by "does not believe." However, the rest of my posts were a response to his/her subsequent comments.

As for your own rants about Christianity: You are entitled to your views, but they don't reflect what most people believe. And, of course, you can feel free to disagree with Christianity all you want. However, if you had actually read my comments, you would have realized that I was stressing the importance of respecting ANY sacred view for ANY faith.

Of course, the doctrines, teachings and tenants of faith are a part the faith itself. Yes, Christianity -- like most other religions -- is exclusive in its declaration. However, it is funny when some pinpoint Christianity for this.

I suggest that, at least on this day, allow the Christians to celebrate the birth of the one to which they declare their faith. Is that too much to ask for?


Posted by Sheesh, a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 26, 2012 at 9:36 am

I have lived here for 35 years. I LOVE Christmas Tree Lane and I'm Jewish. I grew up cruising the lane and now my family loves the tradition of the Lane. This argument is Bah Humbug. My only complaint was that this thread was based off of what was supposed to be an album of Christmas Tree Lane. I pulled it up to show my family who have since moved from the area and was disappointed that the pictures did not show barely any homes. Anyhow...

Thank you Fulton Street for keeping this wonderful tradition alive!

Merry Christmakwanzamukkah!


Posted by agree with intolerance, a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

Sounds like Nayeli wants it both ways--she complains about disrespect for a "sacred faith", but when it is pointed out to her that christianity shows the same "disrespect" she states:

"Of course, the doctrines, teachings and tenants of faith are a part the faith itself. Yes, Christianity -- like most other religions -- is exclusive in its declaration."

And, Nayeli, no one was preventing you or anyone else from celebrating anything yesterday.
It is called free speech and that is one of the things that make our country great


Posted by P.A. Native, a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm

@ does not believe,

If you're really concerned about cars driving without their headlights, structures on roofs and lack of permits, you should start a petition to make the changes you feel are necessary. You could also go to the city directly with your concerns. Likely nobody would care and they'd roll their eyes at you, but you are correct that it's your right to complain.

Anyways, Happy New Year! Wait...you celebrate New Years right?


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2012 at 10:24 am

In the spirit of the season (note to Sharon and Nayeli) -- I'm going to practice some "Love thy Neighbor" spirit, even if they are often SO bizarre.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 27, 2012 at 11:05 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ "agrees with intolerance:"

I don't think that you understand the difference between RESPECTING all faiths even if your faith is different...and belittling a faith in public.

I took offense to "does not believe's" use of the term "fictional characters" in describing Jesus Christ. We all know what he was trying to do with his use of the term.

I am not a Jew, but I believe that Abraham, Moses and the Maccabees lived. I am not a Muslim, but I believe that Muhammad lived. I am also aware of how offensive it would be to publicly call a sacred figure a "fictional character." To historians, such individuals were NOT "fictional characters." Thus, the use appears to be meant as nothing more than ridicule or a slur.

If someone cannot understand or comprehend how offensive such statements of mockery can be, then they have bigger issues than their need to rain on everyone else's parade (or Christmas Tree Lane). However, as neighbor suggested, I suppose that we must endeavor to "Love thy Neighbor" -- no matter how bizarre.

Happy New Year!!!


Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Jan 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Sheesh,

And please don't forget my favorite, Festivus!


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