Christmas spirit reaches new levels in one Midlands neighborhood - DatelineCarolina

Christmas spirit reaches new levels in one Midlands neighborhood

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Taylor Christopher is new to the community, and she says she was shocked to see all the trees lit up in the neighborhood. Taylor Christopher is new to the community, and she says she was shocked to see all the trees lit up in the neighborhood.
The participants are given clear instructions on how to decorate the tree, which includeds topping it off with this bright red bow. The participants are given clear instructions on how to decorate the tree, which includeds topping it off with this bright red bow.
Darlene Cox has participated in the tradition since the beginning, and now she helps organize the event. Darlene Cox has participated in the tradition since the beginning, and now she helps organize the event.
These trees line the streets of Westover Acres. These trees line the streets of Westover Acres.

By: Tori Beth Black

Hundreds of Christmas trees line the streets of Westover Acres in West Columbia. The trees, covered with lights, are planted in almost every front yard, and they light up the night sky.

Taylor Christopher moved this summer. She had no idea what was going on when she came back from a Thanksgiving holiday trip.

“I drove down the neighborhood and there are these trees everywhere, and I was really wondering what was going on our neighborhood,” said Taylor.

Taylor says it’s a mesmerizing experience for those passing by, and she wanted to know more as soon as she saw them. All of the trees are about the same size, standing between 5 and 7 feet tall, and they are all decorated with clear lights and bright red bow on the tip top.

“I felt left out,” said Taylor. “I was like I’ve got to get a tree to put in our front yard. I want to be a part of this!”

Taylor took to the Internet and found a Facebook group for the community called Westover Acres Community Crime Watch Club.

The trees are delivered every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to the BB&T building at the very front of the neighborhood. A local farmer provides them and homeowners buy them for $20 per tree. The Facebook group has precise instructions. They must be planted in the front yard and only decorated with clear lights and a red bow.

“We love doing it,” said Darlene Cox who has lived in the neighborhood for 47 years now. "It’s a lot of work and we live on the corner so we have two trees.”

Darlene says the tradition started almost 15 years ago when members of the community saw other neighborhoods decorating their yards together. She says she wishes more people would participate but they do have a lot of senior adults who can’t do it on their own.

“I just think it’s so pretty at night to ride through and look at them,” said Darlene. “We love doing it. Its fun.”

And the community’s efforts seem to be making an impact on their new members.

“Oh I loved it. It really put me in the Christmas Spirit and I think it just makes it have a real sense of community here and I really like living in a neighborhood that everyone I unified and celebrating Christmas," said Taylor.

Darlene says the very reason they do it is to spread holiday cheer and bring a smile to those who drive by the trees.  

“You know, it gets everyone in the spirit. We love doing it,” she says.

Many in the neighborhood are still putting up their trees. Darlene says anyone can participate, even if they didn’t pick up the specific trees on Saturday. In fact, she encourages as many people as possible to light up the neighborhood with their tradition.

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