Dark Days Ahead for the Christmas House on Olive Dr. in Concord

December 8, 2014 13:21 pm · 71 comments


After 36-years, Bruce Mertz has unfortunately decided to call it quits.

The beautifully decorated house that has entertained Claycord residents for decades on Olive Dr. in Concord, will go dark forever after this holiday season.

“Climbing up to the roof just isn’t as easy as it used to be for Mr. Christmas”, according to an announcement on his Mr. Christmas Movie facebook page.

The house is still lit, and will remain lit until Jan.2, 2015, so go see it while you still can!

Thank you for the many years of smiles.

Claudia December 8, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Very sad to hear this is the last year but thank you Mr. Christmas for all those wonderful years. Your efforts will be missed but it’s totally understood.

Merry Christmas!!!

Anon777 December 8, 2014 at 1:32 PM

We have certainly enjoyed his beautiful displays over the years. We will miss it!

Bluebird December 8, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Another Holiday Tradition coming to an end. Thank you, Mr. Christmas, for spreading Chistmas joy for so many years.

Another of our favorite places to go every year came to an end this year. The Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round Christmas Fantasyland is open and shamelessly using the same name, but the new owner is not even in the category as the previous owner 🙁

Grumpy Old Man December 8, 2014 at 1:34 PM

We took two of our Grandchildren to see this display last year. After meeting Mr. Mertz, the youngest child said to me “Papa, I think he must be Santa’s Brother.” Kinda says it all. Merry Christmas.

Karen December 8, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Why can’t the neighbors help and make a block event?

Craig Cannon December 8, 2014 at 1:36 PM

God Bless you Mr. Mertz. I saw the Faces of those little children and families last year, when they shared the fantasy of the holidays at your house. You greeted each and every one that you could. There is a special place in Heaven for people like you. You truly BELEIVE! Thank You!

Rebecca Nolen December 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

I think on Jan 2 EVERYONE should show up and wish him a very happy New Year and show our appreciation for so many years of joy. My kids will be sad to not see it again. It has been a wonderful Christmas Tradition. Thank you Mr. Christmas 🙂

Merry Christmas! December 8, 2014 at 1:45 PM

All good things must come to an end.

Peter December 8, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Just went on Sunday… sad!

Mike December 8, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Thanks for the (visual) memories!

Melissa December 8, 2014 at 1:54 PM


Emily December 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I drive my daughter by there at least 20 times a year when the lights are up. Bless his heart for doing this as long as he has. My daughter is a big fan of Mr. Christmas. Thanks for giving my daughter the joy of seeing those lights for the last six years Mr. Christmas!

Mallory December 8, 2014 at 2:05 PM

@ Rebecca Nolen,

I think that’s a great idea, would love to be apart of anything we do to honor this man, and his wife. I believe he actually started this in her memory… I could be wrong though.

F Sharp December 8, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Is it at all possible to help him out? I bet a whole bunch of us can do the work for him if he directs us.

Eduardo Torres December 8, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I used to live in Concord for 18 years and I think the two Houses on Hillside ave were better decorated than the one on Olive dr. I always looked forward to watching those two houses every year, they would start decorating right after Halloween and turn on the lights on Thanksgiving night.

Rebecca Nolen December 8, 2014 at 2:22 PM

@ Mallory

I believe you are correct about him doing it to honor his wife’s memory. I think it would be a wonderful way to show how much everyone appreciates him and his hard work as well as be a nice way for him to finish it.

Cowellian December 8, 2014 at 2:28 PM

When we lived in Concord, we took the kids to see it every year. It was one of our favorite Christmas traditions.

greg johnson December 8, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Maybe we could get a local Boy Scout troop to help him out, then it could continue.

Jesse December 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Oh, no! My kids loved to drive by Mr. Christmas’ house every year. Christmas won’t be the same without it.

But I understand. I’m not sure how many more years we’ll be willing to climb up the ladder to the put up the lights on our house. We’re not as young as we used to be.

Thank you, Mr. Christmas, for all the Christmas joy you you’ve given us.

Lynnie Morgan December 8, 2014 at 2:53 PM

oh we are so sad!!! We went by there just last night. Thank you Bruce Merrz for so many wonderful memories and for all your hard work! You are VERY appriceated by your community. Blessings friend, blessings!

Tamara H. December 8, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Mr. Christmas…thank you for all you’ve given over the years for our enjoyment. My daughter, now 6, LOVES to go by Mr. Christmas’ house and linger and look at the lights. When she was an infant/toddler she would cry when we would insist it was time to go. We will miss this tradition each year as we visit several times each Christmas season.

It would be nice if we could organize some sort of community “thank you” to Mr. Christmas/Mertz.

Crystal December 8, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Thank you Mr Mertz for all the wonderful years. Awesome tradition and I’m grateful I bought the CD for the beautiful memories. Happy new year and many blessed days

Just a thought... December 8, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Perhaps Mr. Christmas could set up a donation section on his Facebook page for next year and thereafter and use said donations to hire a light installation company; help pay for his additional utility costs; and maybe bring something special -a “One Night Only” community event with any additional monies he may have (Santa Claus, carolers; hot cider/chocolate for the first 100; etc.) Could maybe add an additional community element too like a toy; canned food; or coat drive. Just a thought….

EdiBirsan December 8, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Dark days ahead, how sad. However, I am very thankful for the fond memories of the lights and the community effort it showed. Thank you.

Amanda December 8, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Thank you for the many years that you and your amazing family has did this. Merry Christmas to all.

Carolyn December 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

thank you Mr Christmas for all your beautiful lights through the years. Relax and enjoy other lights now. XXXX

gram December 8, 2014 at 4:05 PM

yes it is sad. It will be a disappointment to the neighborhood, the children and the grandchildren. And yes it is in memory of his wife’s favorite holiday. however, Bruce has openly admitted to our family (four of which live on olive drive near him,) that he is an atheist. Does not believe in Christ and nothing in his yard depicts Christ. And has never played a Christmas carol or hymn. He is called Mr Xmas not Mr Christmas. Read his license plate.

Incognito December 8, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Thank you, Mr. Christmas, for all the wonderful years of smiles! My sister is visiting for Christmas this year and you are on my list of houses to take her to see…

Val December 8, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Thank you Mr. Christmas for over 22 years of holiday enjoyment. My daughter will be home from college soon and we will drive by one last time. She will be so sad. She always made us save you for last on our Christmas light drive we took each year. You ROCK!

Miraculous Mutha December 8, 2014 at 4:25 PM

How sad. I took my kids and now they take their kids. I haven’t been there in years but I think we’ll go this year.
He is such a nice man. We met him the first year we went and he’s such a sweetheart. Its sad to hear that he physically can’t do the decorations anymore.
I bet somebody will step in to help from now on, or maybe he just doesn’t want to do it at all anymore.

Merry Christmas Mr. Mertz, thank you for the beautiful memories.

Tennis reid December 8, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I volunteer to help out and keep the lights going next year if he will have me.

Ethyl December 8, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Thanks, Fred.

Sam December 8, 2014 at 5:34 PM

So grateful for all the years! Thank you Mr. Christmas!!! ♡♡♡

Thanks for the Memories! December 8, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Thank you Mr. Mertz! I love when homeowners go out of their way to make others happy. Sharing the spirit with the community……

chubby December 8, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Dang. First Singing Flag and now Mr. Xmas? I mourn the passing of a couple of Concord institutions. But I understand that people at some point decide it’s quitin’ time. I carry their blessings with me moving forward, they have made me a better person. It’s up to all of us to do things to better our communities.

Melissa December 8, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Thank you Mr. Christmas for brightening up my mood every single holiday season that I’ve been alive. I look forward to seeing your display every year and I’m almost in tears knowing that next year there will be no more. But I’m so very thankful for all of the years you brought joy with your lights to concord. My family and I will miss it very much!

Coggins Square December 8, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Thanks to Mr. Mertz for all of the great memories you have given to so many in Central Contra Costa County for so long!! Also, after the same amount of time, this is the last year for the Hiland’s who live on Candleberry Road in the Woodlands neighborhood of Walnut Creek, though their daughter and son-in-law who live right around the corner on Rock Oak Road in the same area will continue the tradition!!

Mackshotmama December 8, 2014 at 6:48 PM

I bring my daughter every year

Susan December 8, 2014 at 6:51 PM

This sounds like a job for the UGLY EAGLE champions!!!!!! And we can come together for mire donations. I’d love to keep honoring the concord tradition and mr. Christmas’s lovely wife may she rest in peace!!!

Silva December 8, 2014 at 7:45 PM

#27, If what you say is true, the display makes more sense to me now. Thanks for that info, and thank you Mr. Christmas or Mr. Xmas as the case may be!

former concord resident December 8, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Wow…cant even imagine xmas without seeing this home.
When I was a kid my parents drove me around looking at lights all over clayton and concord. And when I was groen I did the same for mine.. im very grateful for his lightshow sorta brings out xmas .and makes it more thankful for people like him..
Wish him well….


Mrs. K December 8, 2014 at 8:00 PM

We live by Mr. Christmas and have offered help over the years. He’s declined. We even gave him a more reliable ladder. I invite all that are willing to stuff his donation boxes full of kind thoughts & good memories. Maybe a dollar or two to help with this expenses. It would be great to have a gathering for him on this last night. Merry Christmas everyone!

Teresa December 8, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Dear Bruce; you have been part of our family holiday tradition for the last 21 years. Our daughter grew up going to your house, and it’s just not Christmas without a stop by “Mr. Christmas’s house”. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing so much Christmas spirit and joy into our lives, we are so grateful.
Teresa, Keith and Katie

Barb December 8, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Mr. Xxmas’ house has been my family’s favorite Christmas tradition for over 25 years – always our favorite decorated house and our favorite “character.” We love it when he comes outside wearing his lit-up jacket to greet us. We love his postcards every year. We love taking our picture with him. We loved his documentary that we saw on TV about him. He deserves a big send off on January 2nd. The city of Concord should name it “Mr. Xxmas Day” and he should definitely be given some kind of an honor from the city. There are lots of decorated houses. There is only one Mr. Xxmas.

Kristen December 8, 2014 at 9:17 PM

First Singing Flag, now this. The times they are a changin’. No matter how much we love either one, they certainly have the right to retire. Don’t think money or even help is the issue. He can be done if he wants to be, we just have to make sure he knows how much his display has meant to us over the years. That’s what’s important here.

Melissa Strong December 8, 2014 at 10:14 PM

This is truly sad me and my family come by to see the lights every year and have for many years Christmas isn’t going to be the same without mr.christmas

Amanda December 8, 2014 at 10:28 PM

I am 22 years old and I can proudly say that I have visited Mr. Xmas every year of my life. We used to visit him every year in the way home from my grandparents house. My fridge is covered in his yearly postcards. I’m truly sad to see him go. He was such a very large part of my life growing up.

Dana Mom December 8, 2014 at 10:53 PM

@gram #27,
I think his license plate is Mr. Xmas because Christmas would not fit lol.
Both his facebook page, his Cd and his documentary are all called
Mr. Christmas! Seems if he wanted to be referred to as Mr. Xmas he would have had it edited accordingly. Just an observation.

The New Rhodesian December 8, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Mr Mertz if you are reading this, thank you for your work and the years of happiness you brought to the community. Grew up loving seeing your home every year and will deeply miss it.

Jessica Jecker December 9, 2014 at 12:23 AM

Thank you so much, Mr. Christmas for sharing your time and love. Our family has cherished memories stopping by your house and “oohing” and “ahhing” over your display. You brought so much joy to so many families. You are greatly appreciated. I will be stopping by this year to say goodbye.

Suzy Inman December 9, 2014 at 3:03 AM

So very thankful for you. You surely must know how much JOY you have brought to so many over the years. God Bless You.

micheLLeS December 9, 2014 at 7:55 AM

Rebecca Nolen (post 7)
Susan (post 39):

Both, great ideas! I would be willing to join the effort. Keep us posted. =)

Shiney Nose December 9, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Thanks for making our part of Concord famous!!!

Sandy Eggo December 9, 2014 at 9:24 AM

We’ve enjoyed his display for 33 years! It is still as fun to see today as it was when I was a kid. Thanks for the memories Mr. Christmas!!

Katy Himsl December 9, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Thank you so much for all the years of christmas Joy! It has been a family tradition to come visit throughout the Christmas season!!! We are trying to pay it forward with a Cristmas Light show in concord. It pales in comparasent, but we have years to get it right 😉 I’ll have to come learn some tricks of the trade from the legendary Mr. Xmas!!! We are located on St. Francis Dr. , Concord

Anne Burbach December 9, 2014 at 10:41 AM

This house has been a MUST for holiday enjoyment since I moved to Concord in 1997. And now that I live in Benicia, it was always worth the drive to view this wonderful display. Thank you for all the years you gave back to the community with your beautiful display!!

Lorelei December 9, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Awww…..so sad to see it go dark. My children and their children always loved going to see it! Thank you, Mr. Xmas!

Tony December 9, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Thank you Mr mertz for all the memories my mom used to take me and my sister when we were little definitely gonna have to take my kids by one last time

Jennifer Sticht December 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM

I remember going to see this house when I was a kid and lived down the street. My husband and I have taken our kids to see it when we still lived in town. I wish my grandkids could have seen it. Mr. Christmas you did a wonderful thing for the community and we will miss your lights.

Councilman Davis December 9, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Ive always loved that house 🙂

Jeremy December 9, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Too much liability for people to work on the house. And let alone walk on the roof!

Connie December 9, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Thank you, Sir. It’s been a pleasure!

Allen Marshall December 10, 2014 at 9:47 AM

My sister and I lived on Olive Drive for a number of years. That was always a cool house at Christmas time. As the saying goes, all good things come to an end.
Merry Christmas from Tennessee, Concord, California!!!

Jesse December 10, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Sad day.

For those who want something similar, check out Crippsmas Place in Fremont.
http://www.crippsmasplace.org/ for more info.

BAM BAM December 10, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Thanks for all the years of good memories , took my family there every year, you will be missed, Merry Christmas

Krystle December 10, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Awwwww I loved this house so sad I remember going to it when I was a little kid every Christmas.

Ilene Falkenstein December 11, 2014 at 12:07 AM

We have visited you every year from 1982-1987 and 1990 to current day. Your house was one of our families favorite Christmas memories. We thank you and we will miss you. Merry Christmas, Mr. Xmas!!

Shelehia December 11, 2014 at 8:48 AM

As Faye Johnson’s grandaughter, we grew up with Mr Mertz and his light display across the street every year. Sad to say, I haven’t been home in quite some time to see it. Even sadder to see it going away. I think I’ll bring grandma out to see it one last time with me.

kyle December 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

I’ve been coming to see Mr Christmas with my family since I was a wee lad. It’s been a holiday tradition that I’ve kept going with my friends. It’s sad that he can’t do it anymore but he’s brightened up our holidays for a long time. Thanks Mr Christmas.

Jackie Kouhi December 19, 2014 at 2:39 PM

For everyone who has loved Mr. Christmas….join us on Monday to show our appreciation to him for his 36 years of being a community icon 🙂 See details below, and we have spoken with him (keeping details vague) so if you know him, keep the extra surprises in your pocket.

For 36 years, Mr. Christmas has drawn thousands of people to his home with his incredible light displays and decorations.
This year will be his last, so the community is banding together this Monday just before 6pm to show our appreciation. We’ll be singing Christmas carols (and Happy Birthday, as his 87th birthday happens to be this Saturday), enjoying his lights once more and holding up signs in his dedication. Feel free to make some of your own as well 
Bring your children, friends, and family to: 5208 Olive Drive, Concord. We’ll have candy canes for the little ones too.

Please join us to in saying farewell and thank you to Mr. Christmas on Monday. Call me, Jackie Kouhi, for questions or more details. We’ll be working out a parking arrangement as well.


Silva December 19, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Jackie @#70, How nice!

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