Unplugged from holiday decorations

Christmas-2009There have been a bunch of changes and challenges out of moving the family from suburban Seattle to the Big Apple. This time of year, I always get a little melancholy over not having a canvas for my decorating urges.

I was in my mid-30s when I was bitten by the decorating bug. The effects of this infection of holiday spirit started out slow. First with an inflatable.

halloween-2004-1The blow-up snowman was a big hit with the kids. The giant, happy ghost was the backdrop of many costume photo shoots. halloween-2004But that was just the start.

A few weeks later, the holidays inspired me to set up a super-sized Santa Claus.

christmas-2008-2It didn’t stop there. I needed another.

So next came a giant snow globe. christmas-2008-3Then an inflatable racing-car driven by snow men.christmas-2008-4

The whirling noise of fans nearly covered up the constant, comforting sound of the small stream that ran through our front yard. But that wasn’t enough. So soon came the lights!

It didn’t happen overnight, but over the years the collection of lights grew. Clear lights. Colored lights. Running lights. Icicle lights. On the final year before our move, the number of lights grew in the thousands. And to feed them, electric cords by the dozen. It took days to set it all up. Lines of wire snaked across the yard and up along the roof. That final year I added speakers and a computer-controlled switching system. Watch the video!

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You should also know that my Halloween decorations got just as elaborate. A black light-lit grave yard with animatronic ghouls, shrouded by a fog machine and dry ice in the stream really put on a show.

So how could the neighbors handle all that? First, they are saints (one is actually a church pastor) and second, I always turned off the show after 8pm or so. When we broke the news we were moving to the friendly couple across from us they said they’d really miss our family AND the decorations. That was really cool to hear.

I couldn’t bear to get rid of all my toys. They’re in storage along with our baby grand piano and other things that didn’t make sense to bring to New York. So you may still have a chance to see my work one day. Until then, I’ll settle for trimming the tree (if I can find one here) and dream of what I’ll do next, given the right canvas to channel the backed-up holiday spirit building inside of me.

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