If you live in South Philadelphia, the way to show off your Christmas spirit to the neighborhood isn’t hundreds of twinkling lights on the roof or a wreath on the door. It’s filling your front window with a scene of holiday cheer.
“It’s not quite a competition. It’s just that everyone does it their own way, and it’s a nice mix,” says NewsWorks web producer Marilyn D’Angelo. “Some of the houses get a little crazy.”
D’Angelo lives on Packer Avenue in the same row home where her grandparents, Italian immigrants, once lived. The house looks like many others on this block with a large bay window in the front. However, most of the others are filled with tinsel snowman, animatronic Santas and Mrs. Clauses and lined with cotton ball snow. D’Angelo’s window is empty.
The tradition of dressing windows for Christmas in this neighborhood stretches back to her childhood, she says.
For many like her, it starts at Kindy’s, the holiday light factory and superstore on South 20th Street. Kindy’s is housed in the former defense center where D’Angelo’s grandmother, her Nonna, worked sewing military uniforms in the 1970s.
“It’s literally a warehouse, so we’re just walking through these big plastic sheets like we’re walking to a cooler, but it’s not it’s a Christmas store,” she says.
WHYY’s Katie Colaneri tagged along with D’Angelo for her Kindy’s shopping adventure and sent us this audio postcard.