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Holiday port-a-potty lights up a Gilbert neighboorhood

“Hey, look! We’re making the otherwise crappy Christmas even crappier,” Kirk Erickson said last...
“Hey, look! We’re making the otherwise crappy Christmas even crappier,” Kirk Erickson said last year about the lit-up latrine.(AZ Family)
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 8:24 AM MST
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GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The lights are up, and the temperatures are down. Christmas is surely in the air! But on one Gilbert 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,” Gilbert resident Mark Day said. “We take the kids out. We walk around and look at Christmas lights.”

There are homes adorned with twinkling lights as colorful as the wrapping paper hugging gifts under the tree. But if you ask some people, the real gift this Christmas is a 7 1/2-foot tall plastic port-a-potty.

“That. Is. Awesome.” 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,” Erickson said.

That’s what Erickson said last Christmas, when his neighbor, who was having a pool built, plopped a port-a-potty on the street -- a big square blue Grinch Erickson feared would kill the Christmas vibe. Erickson hopped on Instagram and urged his neighbors to save Christmas.

“I woke up the next morning and two or three more strands were added.” And it kept going. More and more lights each night.

The Christmas commode was such a hit that this year, Erickson rented port-a-potty and willingly put it in front of his home.

The neighborhood knew what to do next.

“All I supply is an extension cord and a 40-amp breaker,” Erickson said.

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

“We actually dropped off little toilet paper roll ornaments,” one neighbor said after he added some ornaments to the large blue toilet lighting up this Phoenix suburb.

Tours, selfies, and family photos for Christmas cards are all part of this winter water closet. And Erickson said it is not causing much of a stink because people aren’t leaving any, umm, organic gifts.

They are just making memories in front of a joyous john that Erickson said 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, I think, in his long journey on Christmas Eve,” Erickson said.

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