This column starts at a hilltop home in La Jolla and ends on a front lawn in a little cul-de-sac in Lemon Grove.
It was 1948 when Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) and his first wife, Helen, purchased a home near the top of Mt. Soledad. “The Tower,” as it became known, had commanding views of the Pacific and much of San Diego. It remained his primary residence for the rest of his life. Locking himself in a studio within The Tower for at least eight hours a day, Dr. Seuss produced his creative magic.
Most of his classic children’s books were written and illustrated from his perch high above the city. As a kid growing up in Clairemont in the 1960s, I knew Dr. Seuss lived in the first home down from the cross on Mt. Soledad. Sometimes I wondered, as he looked down from his view “Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crumpit” at all the tract homes on the mesa, if they were his inspiration for “Who-ville” in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Dr. Seuss never had any children of his own, and once quipped: “You make 'em, I amuse 'em.” After 53 years of being creatively entertaining, he passed away in San Diego on September 24, 1991, at the age of 87. In Seuss’ final book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” the last line reads: “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So … get on your way!”
With apologies to the good Doctor, here is my Seuss-ian take on Lemon Grove’s Santa Claus Lane:
You don’t have to pay,
so get on your way
to visit a twinkling treasure trove
right here in Lemon Grove.
It’s quite a sight,
with trains, music and thousands of lights.
Not to be a bore,
but if you come here one can even hear Santa snore.
Hop in your car;
you don’t have to go far.
Not to shout,
but after the 25th your time runs out.
The kids will call you lame, and maybe even insane,
if you fail to check out Santa Claus Lane.
Once again, the residents of continue their decades-old tradition of transforming their small street into sparkling Santa Claus Lane. The only Grinch here is on a front lawn, surrounded by giant illuminated Christmas bulbs.
One of the main attractions is a house that is always triple-decked-out with major festive décor and lights. It even has a music and light show every 30 minutes from 6–9 p.m. Check out this labor of love.
To quote the Grinch:
"Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
Have a very happy holiday.