California 'wishing tree' decorated with handwritten messages of gratitude

Instead of a Christmas tree, one neighborhood does something different.

December 24, 2021, 5:24 PM

Instead of decorating a Christmas tree with traditional ornaments, a neighborhood in Vista, California, comes together to do something a little different: decorate an ash tree with handwritten notes.

Each year, the neighborhood "wishing tree" is filled with notes of hopes, dreams, gratitude and more.

PHOTO: The Wishing Tree is located in a neighborhood of Vista, California.
The Wishing Tree is located in a neighborhood of Vista, California.
ABC

"A bunch of people around the neighborhood go and get notes from this drawer and write kind little wishes on it," said 10-year-old resident Layla.

PHOTO: Directions on how to share a note on the Wishing Tree in Vista, California.
Directions on how to share a note on the Wishing Tree in Vista, California.
ABC

Jackson, an 8-year-old who lives in the neighborhood, shared his wish.

"I wrote, 'I want COVID to be gone,' because COVID isn't that great. I've already been quarantined from my class two times," said Jackson.

The tradition was started a few years ago by a neighbor who wishes to remain anonymous.

They wanted the opportunity to bring cheer, share gratitude and spread hope during the holidays.

PHOTO: Resident Jackson,8, and Layla, 10, read notes from the Wishing Tree in VIsta, California.
Resident Jackson,8, and Layla, 10, read notes from the Wishing Tree in VIsta, California.
ABC

Resident Sandy Lepire said it brings out the true spirit of the holidays.

"When you turn the corner on the street and you see people stop and make a wish," she said, "it just warms your heart."

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events