Addison Drive takes decking the halls seriously

Neighbors along Addison Drive in Doraville show their holiday spirit with extensive light and yard displays. Photo by Gale Horton Gay

Neighbors along Addison Drive in Doraville show their holiday spirit with extensive light and yard displays. Photos by Gale Horton Gay

Holiday extravagance has become a neighborhood contagion. One block of the Northwoods subdivision in Doraville is lit up to the hilt nightly with house after house decorated in lights and yard displays.

A couple of longtime neighbors admit they are among the instigators of getting this started years ago.

Robert Kelley recalls that 14 years ago when he moved to Addison Drive he always made a “big do-dah” with his outdoor Christmas decorations. As the years went by, more houses began enhancing their yard and house decorations. 

Jeff Jenkins said he and Terry Greenberg along with neighbor Tamara Neal. also were among the first to join the neighborhood holiday decorating movement. Seven years ago the neighbors put out flyers encouraging others in Northwoods to take part as well. The goal was to get their entire block on board. That first year there were five to six houses and about 12 people participating.

This year many of the Addison Drive houses are ablaze in lights, giant blow-up displays, moving snowman, Santa in a chimney, lights projected on trees and houses and more. The exterior of 19 houses are fully decorated.

The neighbors don’t just decorate, they celebrate as well. Each year they hold an official lighting countdown event with food, music and backup by the Doraville police who block the street and monitor traffic.

On Nov. 26 the lighting event “Lights on Addison” was attended by about 130 people and treats such as hot chocolate, cookies, chili, guacamole and chips offered to visitors, according to the organizers. One homeowner asks adult visitors if they want the spiked or virgin punch and most go for the spiked, he said.


Jenkins said it takes four days to ready his yard and driveway with the hodge-podge of old and new, stationary and moving Christmas decorations. In addition to moving reindeer, glittery angels and a trio of pot-bellied Christmas characters that line the driveway, a new item this year is a mini travel trailer and truck that’s outfitted in lights.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” said Jenkins. “Most everybody’s child comes out. I know what glee is now.”

Jenkins, who along with Greenberg head their neighborhood watch, said while the event is celebratory and fun, it also has another benefit—getting to know their neighbors.

“It’s a great way to bring people together,” said Jenkins.

Kelley and housemate Ed St. Amour’s yard features lights, giant blow-up bear and toy soldier, Santa and Mrs. Clause sitting on a bench, a dachshund with a halo, Ferris wheel, pig with wings, bluish icicles hanging from trees and a tangle of electrical cords coursing through the grass.

 “Mine is over the top,” he admits. “We are just big kids at heart.”

Carlos and Ceci Borras have lived on Addison Drive for six years and say they love how their neighbors have embraced the holiday spirit. Their house is outlined with white lights with trees are wrapped with green lights.

“It’s beautiful the lights,” said Ceci Borras. “People have a good attitude.”

While Jenkins didn’t disclose how much he spends on his yard display, he provided a hint.

“It takes a lot of money to look this cheesy,” he said.

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