Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

These holiday lights photos are compliments of the North Phoenix community of Moon Valley, located at the northwest corner of 7th Street and Thunderbird Road.

Moon Valley has a special Christmas Eve tradition: holiday lights and luminaria. Every year on Christmas Eve, homeowners place brown paper bags weighted with sand on the sidewalk perimeter of their home. At the appointed time, tea light candles are lit inside the bags and voila! the show is on. Valley residents come from miles around to see the luminaria display.  Most of my pics below don’t capture the luminaria themselves but you can see tons of great photos of Valley luminaria displays on Flickr.

The annual tradition is that folks drive slowly through the neighborhood (with only the car’s parking lights on) to see the holiday lights. This year I noticed a new trend - families sitting in their front yard with a brightly burning chiminea to keep them warm as they enjoy the festivities. It’s become almost a moving tailgate party!

This year I also noticed a bunch of families walking the sidewalks to catch the holiday light displays. Last night I even saw an SUV towing a little rickshaw-type wagon full of teens who were belting out holiday songs. I rolled down the car windows to catch most of these pics, and realized that lots of people were shouting “Merry Christmas” to each other through their open car windows. No wonder many of my school friends moved back to Moon Valley to raise their kids - such a special family-oriented neighborhood.

Lawn deer are a holiday favorite:

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Outlining the house is also very popular (and thankfully makes a decent night time photo for my crusty old digicam, sans flash.)

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And then there’s always the neighbors who go all-out.

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Wishing you and yours and very happy holiday season!

Want to know more about Moon Valley? Check out the homes currently for sale here.