O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

A 25-year Poway resident, Thomas John Farley came originally for the schools, the land, and to live in a rural setting. He stayed because he learned that “the folks who lead this community are really good people, and their willingness to work hard has resulted in a community that everyone is very proud of.” One of the ways Thomas began his own involvement in the community came with a show of his Christmas spirit that has burgeoned into a yearly display that can be seen from miles around.

You Are the Tree Most Loved

Thomas’s annually lit Christmas display started as a 10-foot pipe on the roof in 1989, then grew to 15-feet the following year. At the 25-foot mark, Santa Ana winds blew it over, so it was moved out into the yard, where the display continued to ‘grow.’ “It’s presently about 78-feet tall, which seems to fit the hillside,” he shared, “so it’s done growing.”

How Often You Give Us Delight

The display structure is usually visible on the horizon by late October. It has been lit on Dec. 1, at 4:30 a.m., every year since the beginning. The color scheme is always altered, so the lighting has a surprise element to add to the tradition of the display.

In Brightly Shining Christmas Light

When asked the main reason he puts up the project every year, Thomas gave one word: fun. “Blurring the lines between work and fun on this annual project has resulted in some wonderful gatherings of friends, random mail and gifts from strangers, even Christmas carolers.” Thomas has many interesting elements to his life, from the fact that he just got married 3 years ago after 25 years of dating his wife, to the idea that he loves flying so much that he thinks he’s coming back in his next life as a bird.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

But the element Poway and San Diego residents can really share is the majestic, fantastically lit 78-foot Christmas display on the hillside in 92064. “I remember the first time I saw it while driving into Poway on Poway Road,” Thomas said, “and I knew I needed to do it every year, for everyone.”


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Name: Thomas John Farley
Age: 56
Community: Poway since 1989