Friday, December 26, 2008

Time Out for Tree Balls

This time of year, I love walking through a near-by neighborhood full of "tree balls". I'm not sure if this idea originated here, but it is a really big tradition here now. I couldn't hold the camera still enough for really good pictures, but I hope you can get the idea. All these lights are balls, mostly 24 inch diameter or so hanging in trees. Some of these streets have hundreds, if not thousands, of them. Besides the beauty, I love the sheer dedication of these people. They had to MAKE all of these since the commercially available ones are way too small.

I think this blog belongs to the family that started the tradition. They have lots better pictures and some interesting reading, including instructions on making and hanging the balls.

Here is a site with another version of the instructions:


Before there were tree balls, there was Mr. True and his little tiny house with a bazillion lights on it, just around the corner from where I live. Cars used to line up to drive by, like they clog the tree ball streets now. Mr. True was known as the "Santa of Chapman Street", and dressed as Santa and gave candy to all the children who came by. Mr. True passed away a few years ago, but his sons keep up the lighting tradition, though the Nativity scene and the rooftop sleigh seem to be missing this year.


  1. Nobody, but nobody 'does' lights like you guys in America. Brings back lovely memories of a Christmas spent in Cincinnati a few years ago. Thanks, Martha.

  2. That looks WONDERFUL, thanks for showing, I enjoyed all the links and downloaded the pdf.

    Enjoy your holidays.

  3. Thanks for sharing the tree ball street with us! It looks like a nice thing to see. That is sweet that Mr True's son keeps the lighted tradition going. We have a street or two of "mr true's", LOL! They call it "candy cane lane" and I guess the families go all out and even serve hot apple cider, hot chocolate and stuff now!

  4. They look pretty from here! LOL! I kept a copy of the instructions although I'm far off the road and don't have any outdoor decorations for now.