Celebrating 30 Years of Tradition

All of us here at The Gatti Law Firm wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

Traditions and memories keep families and communities united. Sometimes, it is the little things which warm our hearts and bring us closer together. A childhood memory of a brightly lit home during the holidays inspired Rich and Dan Gatti to light the 80 foot “Christmas” tree at their law offices in Salem, Oregon, 30 years ago. With the help of their ather and brother Jim, the tradition began.

The Salem community’s response encouraged expansion of the tree lighting into a Christmas display which has become one of the most cherished, sensitive, beautiful Christmas displays of its kind. It now requires a full-time staff and months of preparation and installation to bring this fantasy Christmas event to reality each year.

There are thousands of lights; life-size reindeer, Santa, and sleigh; New York style display windows; gingerbread men; nativity scenes; and a one-of-a-kind Mickey Mouse Santa. Combined, these creations make the lighting of this display a “not to be missed” tradition for so many people. From the very youngest and oldest visitors to those with handicaps and special needs, the Gattis have always wanted to help them create memories and traditions and have made the display and visits with Santa accessible to everyone.

Each visitor can find his or her own special scene to remember, but everyone is particularly enchanted by Santa’s house. This colorful home was specially designed and built to be transported to the office location where it draws thousands of visitors each holiday season. Its snow-covered roof and handicap accessible ramp entry lead to the doorway which opens up to a childhood fantasy environment. Next, to the fireplace sits Santa himself. Crowd control is maintained by costumed elves in this toy workshop setting, providing a personal environment for family photos with Santa, as he inquires what each visitor’s wish list for Christmas may be. No charge for photos here, as the display and Santa visits are courtesy of the law firm of The Gatti Law Firm as its gift to the community.

For years, many people in Salem have proclaimed, “It isn’t Christmas until the Gattis light their tree.” The Gatti law offices located at 1781 Liberty Street SE, Salem, Oregon, are set aglow each year in a light ceremony which begins with a countdown at exactly 6:15 p.m. Lines of children form earlier to the entrance of Santa’s house.
Mr. and Mrs. Santa and their helpful elves pass out candy canes, cookies, and hot chocolate, greeting visitors to the event. The annual tree-lighting event takes place at 6:15 p.m. on the first Saturday following Thanksgiving (this year — 11/26/2011).

The lighting display continues each night until New Year’s Day. The Santa house, with Santa in residence, is open to visitors from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday until Santa must leave to begin deliveries. This year, Santa’s last day open for visiting will be Friday, December 23.


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