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Looking Back: Christmas Past

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Ah, the holidays!

Remember when your family would spend an evening (or two) driving around town to see all the decorations? Perhaps it became a yearly tradition for your family to go out and view the most festive holiday displays. Maybe your family also made a tradition of decorating your own home together.

Let's go back to 1960 when residents in one Wenatchee neighborhood transformed their street into "Christmas Card Lane."

Every homeowner on Marian Street, north of Cherry Street, decorated with the same greeting card theme.

Out in each front lawn was a "candy cane" upright, topped by a burning patio torch which flickered orange at night.

In every yard, a floodlight illuminated a "card" on each house: a red sign with an individual greeting in foil, signed with the names of the residents.

According to an article published Dec. 21 of that year, the idea for "Christmas Card Lane" originated about a year earlier. Mrs. Dick Life, a Marian Street resident, said a casual conversation sparked the plan when someone mentioned it would be nice if everyone decorated their house according to a uniform theme.

It became a true neighborhood effort with every family helping in some way. The Life basement became a "factory" for the manufacture of the "cards." Mrs. Duane Bolinger wrote the greetings and the family names on the foil for each card. Several others helped staple them on. Rug rolls were painted and striped to become the "candy canes."

With everyone going together, it was possible to buy the patio torches and floodlights at "case lot" savings. Total per family cost for the theme decorating was said to be less than $10.

When all was said and done, the "candy canes" were all in a line, the torches were lit and the floodlights turned on. Marian Street folks were pleased with the results.

A larger plywood sign proclaiming "Christmas Card Lane" was erected at the corner of Marian and Cherry.

Residents of Marian Street in 1960 included the families of Louis Vosters, Duane Bolinger, Bill Starkey, Bud O'Dell, Leroy Shrode, Dee Palmer, Pete Christensen, Jim Hetler, Wally LaFreniere, Dick Madson, Pete Nyce, Bob Dufner, Loring Johnson and Dick Life.

Did you live on Marian Street back then? What do you remember about "Christmas Card Lane?"

Happy holidays!