Awaken to Xmas Morn 1960

Unforgettable MCM that was transformed into a glowing holiday delight of yesteryear
Fridays on the Homefront
"Why not transform my own MCM home into 'Christmas Morning 1960'?" homeowner Kyle Dawson of West Covina said to himself. What eventually followed was an awe-inspiring flashback to holidays of the mid-century, recreated with painstaking detail. Photo: Adriene Biondo

In our annual holiday search for sparkling mid-century homes decorated for the holidays, many received admiring glances.

However, one unforgettable home's holiday decor keeps coming back to mind—like the pleasing melody of our favorite Christmas carol.

"Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I was going to be stepping into the most incredible time-travel experience than I had ever had before," says entertainer and historian Charles Phoenix, who couldn't say enough about the magical holiday home in West Covina that he visited at Christmas 2020.

"Last Christmas a good friend texted me a few photos and said, 'You've got to see this home!'" Phoenix recalls. After a visit to meet the homeowner, Kyle Dawson, the entertainer arranged to host a live Christmas Eve broadcast from the Southern California home that went viral on social media.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Kyle Dawson spent an entire summer restoring and masking and painting this outside holiday scene by hand. Photo courtesy Kyle Dawson
 

"Amazingly," he adds, "the home was seen all over the world, proving that there is no corner of the globe that doesn't have people who appreciate American mid-century design."

Dawson, whose lovely 'California Casual' MCM was built in 1958, tells us that the seed of the idea to transform his home was planted the day after Christmas in 2019, when he learned that his local Sears department store was closing its doors.

"So I visited Sears one last time, and walked through the mall only to see that their holiday decorations were less than inspiring, with sadly burned-out light strings hanging intermittently across the mall. No Christmas music, no fountain, nothing."

  Fridays on the Homefront
Kyle's living room Christmas tree scene: 1960s flashback with painstaking detail. Photo courtesy Kyle Dawson
 

Dawson was struck by the store windows he passed, all lacking the kinds of holiday displays that he remembered from the past. "I walked back to my car realizing...how much I wanted to experience that Christmas again," he says.

"Why not transform my own MCM home into 'Christmas Morning 1960'?" he thought. What eventually followed was an awe-inspiring flashback to holidays of the mid-century, recreated with painstaking detail.

Dawson, who has a knack for designing and landscaping, worked his magic around that central 1960 theme, gathering materials and pulling out images he had collected over the years.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Even the globe lights glow with holiday charisma. Photo: Adriene Biondo