Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, the yards on 99th and Campbell are transformed into a wonderland of cartoon characters, Christmas scenes and reminders of the meaning of the holidays. The elaborate display began in the yard of Matt Doherty and, year by year, has expanded into the yards of neighbors creating the most-viewed Christmas display in our neighborhood, and, surely, an annual destination for many other area families. Kids who grew up visiting Campbell Avenue each year are bringing their own children.
Doherty may be the mastermind of the Christmas block, but, just like at Santa’s workshop, it takes a team of elves to bring his vision to reality. Doherty’s helpers include his wife, Sherry Doherty; his brothers, Michael and Marty Doherty; and his friends, Nora Collins, Stacy and Kim Kouzios and Cathy Sorich. New pieces must be crafted and painted, and some of the older pieces touched up, and it all has to be installed for the season.
New this year is a thank you to people in the U.S. armed forces who are on active duty overseas, an interactive toyland and a display based on Frank Capra’s classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Children are invited to mail their letters to Santa at the special mail box; remember to include your address so Santa can send a reply!
Word about Doherty’s holiday cheer is spreading! This year, he is setting up displays at La Rabida Children’s Hospital.