SFist comes bearing GIFs this holiday season, animated GIFs depicting the blinkiest and most outrageous Christmas light displays seen across town. For being such a godless town, San Francisco still does it up for Christmas with households that go over the top with “Up On The Housetop” seasonal spirit. I visited a few local favorites to grab these nighttime animated GIFs of the best San Francisco holiday light displays.
Tom & Jerry House (21st & Church)
There is no way to capture the whole outlandish Tom & Jerry House in photo, let alone one animated GIF, so we’ve got little GIFs of its notable moving parts toy trains, ferris wheels, roller coasters and spinning ballerina Barbies.
Any of you jaded-ass people who don’t believe in Santa Claus can meet the real Santa in person at the Tom & Jerry House every night from 6:30-10 p.m. between now and Christmas Eve. Bring the kids, ‘cause Santa is handing out candy canes and granting Christmas wishes!
“We are privately funded,” Santa told SFist, explaining how he, Tom and Jerry build this 1400-light fabulosity every year. (There's actually a whole documentary about the history of the tree.) “We embody the spirit of the season. We bring people out to enjoy the season and we want people to get to know one another. We do caroling. We make speeches. We want to thank all the men and women of the United States Armed Services who will be serving away from their family this holiday season. And we thank the Giants, that always gets a big roar.”
Santa House (Castro & Duboce)
Up where Castro turns into Divisadero, the Santa House across from CPMC-Davies features three brilliant stories of red-lit wreathes, plus a Santa Claus possibly dangling for his life.
Toy Soldiers House (Digby & Addison)
This close-up GIF shows just one of the army of animatronic toy soldiers standing watch at this under-appreciated display in Diamond Heights.
Flamingo House (Divisadero & Page)
It’s a John Waters Christmas every day of the holiday season at this blinky spectacular household guarded over by two splendid electric pink flamingos.
Windmill Christmas House (Diamond & Diamond Heights)
The award for going all-out on a display that hardly any San Franciscans will see goes this blinky residence on the back end of Diamond Heights down towards Glen Park. Both the front and back yards are adorned with lit-up trees, windmills and blinky Christmas ephemera.
The Santa Dioramas (Alabama & 22nd St.)
The Santa Dioramas on Alabama Street feature all manner of tiny animated Christmas figurines whose adorably stilted movements cannot seen through the lights in these GIFs. So make sure to visit, if you haven’t already!
La Rondalla (Valencia & 20th St.)
The new La Rondalla is a shell of the year-round Christmas kitsch factory it was back in the 90s and 00s. But I’m going to abierto it in on sentimental legacy value, just because I’m glad to see La Rondalla back and bringing the Christmas to Valencia St. again.
Union Square Tree
Not a household, of course. But if you haven’t had or don’t want a chance to catch a glimpse of the giant holiday at Union Square, we’ve captured a little of its twinkle for you here.
Hardcore holiday lighting fans will want to check out this aerial drone video of San Francisco holiday lighting displays from 2013, from Mooncricket Films. It’s all Tom & Jerry house footage from the 3:42 mark onward, providing a spectacular perspective on that house that you’ve never seen before.
GIFs by Joe Kukura for SFist