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Unusual display captures spirit of Christmas

Gilbert neighborhood now embraces one-time eyesore - Ian Schwartz explains

GILBERT, Ariz. (KPHO/CBS News) - The lights are up, and the temperatures are down. Christmas is surely in the air! But on one Phoenix area street, something is a-stirring. It’s a unique decoration that is turning heads and bringing smiles to families in the oddest way. It's become one of the best parts of Christmas.

“It makes the holidays a lot more cheerful. We take the kids out, the wife we walk around and look at Christmas lights.”

It's one of the best parts of Christmas, homes adorned with twinkling lights as colorful as the wrapping paper hugging gifts under the tree.

But, if you ask some people on this Gilbert street, the real gift this Christmas is a seven and a half foot tall plastic porta potty.

"That is awesome."

Neighbor Mark Day was in awe when he first saw Kirk Erickson's kooky idea come to life.

"Hey look, we're making the otherwise crappy Christmas even crappier."

That's what Kirk said last Christmas when his neighbor, who was having a pool built, plopped a Porta Pottie on the street - a big square blue Grinch Kirk feared would kill the Christmas vibe.

Kirk hopped on Instagram and urged his neighbors to save Christmas.

"I woke up the next morning and two or three more strands were added," Erickson recalls."

And it kept going, more and more lights each night.

The Christmas commode was such a hit that this year Kirk put it up in front of his home. The neighborhood new what to do next.

“All I supply is an extension cord and a 40 amp breaker.”

Little by little the lights lit up his latrine, a crowd-sourced Christmas scene that cars line up to see each night.

"We stopped by to drop off little toilet paper roll ornaments."

Tours, selfies, and family photos for Christmas cards are all part of this winter water closet.

And Kirk says it's not causing much of a stink because people aren't leaving any "organic" gifts, if you will, just making memories in front of a joyous john that may also bring a strategic advantage when the big guy rolls around on Christmas Eve.

“Not only will this help Santa spot our house better, it will give him a bit of a reprieve on his long journey on Christmas Eve,” said Erikson.

Author Profile Photo

Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director in September of 2019, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest. Her grandmother first moved to Yuma in the late 1940’s, and Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

Reach out to Lisa with story ideas and your digital feedback at lisa.sturgis@kecytv.com.

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