AMASS THE CHRISTMAS (DISPLAY)

I thought I was in a regular neighborhood. Houses melted away. Dim street lamps faded into the distance. Suddenly red glimmering lights were streaming from a point poking up above the rooftops. Could it be?– a Christmas hoarder’s heaven!

The Oakdale Christmas display is a mini celebrity in the world of insane Christmas decorations. (Apparently there’s such a thing. Whodathought?) This otherwise regular home has appeared in outlets such as the Today Show, HGTV, and a plethora of others (just see website). During the Christmas season, the Kreskge famiy opens up their massively decorated lawn for the public’s viewing pleasure. And for free!

Oakdale - Overview

Without even leaving your car, one can see the overall look of the display. It’s an understatement to say “Christmas lights everywhere!” but towards the street there’s also a massive Nativity scene of plastic, lit-up figurines complete with two-foot tall plastic animals and even a “Bethlehem taxes” hut. To the side there’s an entrance to the mini ‘walkthrough’ with more displays just waiting for their photo op. Random electronic toys are scattered throughout just for touching and playing (Bubble machines, PlaySkool machinery, etc)

Hmmm. When I said ‘Christmas Hoarder’ I meant it. Almost every display (sans the dolls) looked like they were collected from department stores so there was nothing overly unique on a figure-by-figure basis. Typical inflatable snow globes and plastic figurines. A good percentage of displays in the walkthrough were non-Christmas related but forced together. Often I was scratching my head—a European plush soldier riding Donkey (from Shrek), a room full of toy-stuffed dogs, and a large inflatable display for the Buccaneers (Go Tampa!).

Teddy bear parade
Teddy Bear parade (72 bears!)

I grabbed a paper tour from the happy and friendly volunteers to decipher the quasi-organization to this jolly madness. Along the way I passed “about 50 life-like dogs plus cats up a tree” and a “Teddy Bear Parade.”

WARNING! I know the designers meant well, but some displays could be creepy to those with huge imaginations. I’m looking at YOU normally innocent-looking Christmas dolls. Gasp—I imagined the souls of poor children somehow trapped behind the glassy eyes of those things.

Television of a preacher
Old TV program of a Christian preacher plays on the rooftop

And there’s LOTS of Christian messages sprinkled throughout. Overall I liked it (Puh-lease, do I have to present my rather large Christian resume?) although it was mildly off-putting at the walkthrough entrance where a propped-up television showing a preacher’s words spilled over the awaiting crowd. Somehow the 80’s style of the broadcast reeked of “very-preachy-old-person-who-can’t-connect-to-youth” and the voice actually added to the creep factor over the first displays of figurines.

Please keep proclaiming the Christian Christmas message, but please don’t present it in an off-putting display.

I’m seriously impressed by all the work this house’s owners have done. While I can’t compare it to theme park displays or county-run parks, it has its own unique and quirky way of bringing the Christmas spirit to the community. Although everything is free to experience, please send a donation their way.

Just click on any images to take my photo-tour of the Oakdale House.

Oakdale Christmas Display
2719 Oakdale St. S
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

6 – 10pm from Thanksgiving to Christmas

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