Celebrating the Season in The City
The Norfolk Island Pine – native to a small island in the South Pacific, are often sold in small pots and decorated as little Christmas trees because of their beautiful naturally symmetrical shape.
Tom Taylor and Jerry Goldstein brought such a tree 40 years ago to their home on 21st street in the heart of the Castro. Great things sometimes come from humble beginnings.
The tree was planted in front of the house and given the TLC a tree needs to grow tall and strong. By 1984 the little tree had grown and Tom and Jerry decorated this magnificent tree with lights and ornaments while turning their house and yard into a Christmas wonderland.
Every year since, Tom and Jerry (along with many helpers) have recreated and expanded this display as a gift to the people of San Francisco and the world.
Anyone who has wrestled with a tangled set of lights for a 6 foot tree can imagine the effort it would take to decorate one that is 65 feet tall!! For Tom and Jerry, it’s a labor of love.
Part of the magic and genius in this display is the scale. Instead of just decorating a tree that in size rivals the one at Rockefeller Center and leaving it at that, Tom & Jerry created 8 foot tall stockings that hang above the garage and huge wrapped gifts under the tree that are the size of a Prius! These make the tree appear to be a typical 6 foot Christmas tree, however the last thing this tree is, is typical.
By December 12th of each year, the tree is decorated and the display is ready for the thousands of visitors that make the journey to the home on 21st street to sing carols, take pictures and enjoy the festive mood.
Many people ask if they take donations. Tom & Jerry explain that this tree is their gift to all people. If someone feels compelled to contribute, Tom & Jerry ask that those donations go to the Diversity Foundation of San Francisco. There is also a DVD on sale of a documentary that was done about the famous tree. Proceeds from the DVD will also go to the Diversity Foundation that Tom and Jerry founded.
The Diversity Foundation of San Francisco exists to combat the discrimination and prejudice against all sexual orientations, socio-economic statuses, religions, ethnicities, and ages, by dissemination of the results of scientific research.
The tree is located at 3654 21st Street in San Francisco. The display is lit from 6:30pm-10pm through Christmas Eve. Tom & Jerry ask that you be considerate of their neighbors by please not honking your horn. The house is on a steep hill and folks are asked to park at the top or bottom of the hill and walk to the house.
Check out Santa’s view of the Christmas Tree from a drone!
Click here for photos of the Christmas Tree, get directions, and read more about Tom and Jerry.