Del Ray’s Christmas Card Lane
There is no lack of creative holiday spirit in Del Ray, and one of my favorite displays has got to be the over-sized Christmas yard cards on Luray Ave. Whether you view them during the day or at night (each has its own spotlight), they are guaranteed to impress.
The cards are the work of several neighbors, led by Becky VanZoeren, inspired by a 40+ year old tradition from Becky’s home town of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Growing up in Kalamazoo, Becky’s dad would take her and her family to see the magnificent display of cards on the now famous Lauderdale Drive, appropriately nicknamed “Christmas Card Lane.” Since 1965, at least 40 houses on the street have decorated their yards with hand-painted plywood cards, lit up at night for people to enjoy. In 1969, the cards made the local news and today they have a Facebook page.
Last year, while chatting with an old friend from Kalamazoo about the cards, Becky decided to bring the tradition to Del Ray. Becky and her daughters Eliza and Caroline borrowed a neighbor’s pick-up truck, drove to Lowe’s, and purchased four 4’ x 8’ pieces of plywood (cut down to 4’ x 6’).
All three women are graphic designers, so the process was easy. After priming each board, they used a neighbor’s projector to enlarge their design and then sketched it out with a big Sharpie.
They used acrylic paint to fill in the lines.
Some of the cards are bedazzled with beads which capture the afternoon sunlight.
The large black dog has glitter embedded in the white snow.
After seeing Becky and her daughters’ work, a few neighbors got creative as well — there are now seven cards on the block.
So while you’re out and about this holiday season, make sure to drive/walk down the 300 block of Luray Ave day or night to see these beautiful works of art, the beginning of what we hope is a growing tradition right here in Del Ray.
All photos courtesy of Becky VanZoeren.