Over The Top

As I drive around these days, I’m enjoying seeing all the Halloween decorations.  I have to say that the folks in the house across the street from Southdale Library have taken it to a new level.  I particularly love the two skeletons that appear to be climbing onto the roof using a ladder.  The big skeleton may be as tall as the house!

While I don’t do a lot of outdoor décor for the various holidays, for many years I did a lot of inside decorating.  Over the years I have cut down for various reasons:  Nimue, my terrorist tabby likes to eat the Easter grass and bat the plastic eggs around, Rhiannon couldn’t stay away from the Chinese New Year decorations that hung down from various places.  And truth be told, it was just too much some years.  As I’ve been downsizing my stuff, I’ve really whittled down on all my décor, which lives in big plastic bins in the attic. 

For Halloween and Thanksgiving, I have mostly autumn décor: candle rings, pumpkins, lots of flint corn.  And, of course, some ceramic bowls with fall designs that have candy in them.

Are you a holiday/seasonal decorator?  Inside or out?

98 thoughts on “Over The Top”

    1. It’s not a very big house. And it makes me wonder where all those decorations go after the season is over. They can’t have a lot of room for big bins of decorations.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ari is two and will likely change all that
    thNksgiving and christmas
    valentine and st pattys
    flag day memorial day 4th of july labor day
    halloween
    martin luther kong’s birthday lincolns birthday
    irving r feldmans birthday george d mistrals birthday kurt vonnegut’s birthday
    bastille day may day saints days made celebratory from my catholic upbringing
    birthdays of poets authors playwrights artists musicians and songwriters revolutionaries and world leaders oh and einstein gurtrude stein leonard bernstein let’s skip ben stein and beer stein arthur rubentein arthur murray bill murray
    when do you have time for this
    it’s exhausting
    but a christmas tree should be real frazier fur and smell good for a month before christmas

    Liked by 3 people

    1. YA’s first solstice season, she had just started to walk. I was very concerned about her stability and the tree. So I brought home several boxes from work, the kind that reams of paper comes in, and then went to the dollar store and got several rolls large rolls of wrapping paper. Each of the boxes got wrapped up (with the lids wrapped separately). Then I put bricks in each box And made a ring around the base of the tree. This worked really well because the boxes were just heavy enough that she could use them for stability and didn’t need to be grabbing on the tree. I kept these boxes for many years For storing the holiday decorations, until they all started to fall apart. I did use them under the tree again for the first solstice when Tristan was a puppy.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Our son was a busy 10 month crawler his first Christmas. We lived in Southern Indiana that year. I decided a tree was too risky,, so we got a big wreath on 5he wall and used that as our “tree”.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. OK, I should also admit that the years that I put the boxes under the tree I also anchored the tree to the back wall with fishing wire.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. The year we were married student housing, Joel was almost 2 – there was no room for a tree + the factors y’all have mentioned… I fashioned a very nice tree out of green felt that went on the wall over the couch, and, having left all of those back in our “permanent” home in Winona, we must have made decorations for it. Huh – will look at photos and see.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Our delightful maintenance man decorates outside our apartment for us: every apartment has a covered eye level light beside the door. He puts colored lightbulbs in there to fit the season. Next week he will put an orange bulb in it until Thanksgiving. then it is back to white for a couple weeks, then it either red or green, his choice. Valentines day gets red, Easter gets green.
    The doors sit back 18 inches into a niche. you are allowed to hang light things on the wall and put things on the floor. We have a birdhouse hanging there all the time, which we have sometimes given a season slant.
    Clyde

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Decorating on our patio would be for the squirrels and birds to see. We are on the back up against the woods, a wonderful thing. I used to get two cheap scarecrows and put them out in the woods a bit, but where we could see them. The birds liked sitting on them. I wanted to leave them up all winter, but there are rules about these things. I could push them to Thanksgiving, but then that was it. I am not complaining. It’s funny, my wife and her decorating rules.
    Upnorth one of her nicknames with friends was Martha Christmas. She went at it hard. And our cabiny house was perfect, but outside was sort of pointtless. Our house was mostly hidden from the road.
    Then for 13 years we lived in THE Christmas house, indoors anyway. She had 13 years of rapture. Then we had to move to one storey living. She was ready to move on to a new challenge. But the patio home did not work well. Slowly her will and interest have faded. this year the tree and maybe the Dickens village. She has hinted at not doing Dickens. Her back and mine are not quite up to it. We do a few things our backs are not quite up to, like doing all the floors today. Me, not Sandy. When i move to a wheelchair, then lots of things will cease, such as me taking care of her.
    I have never seen the point of outdoor decorations. And you need to do it grand or not do it. I did for three years have a small display on our small front lawn in the grand house here. Hard to explain. One year a picture of it was in the local paper. Guy was looking for something different to show.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. I have a couple of friends with villages and whenever I see them I think how cute they are and how fun that must be and then I realize with my personality, it would probably take over my life.

          Liked by 4 people

  4. I used to decorate on more holidays when the children were home, but now it is mainly Christmas. Our oldest cat ate the wheat berry beard off the Finnish Christmas goat, and I have to keep all the straw figures up high where she can’t get to them. I have three goats and an Austrian straw girl.

    I ordered our fresh Frasier Fir from Williams Sonoma again this year. It will arrive the first week of December, and is always beautiful and terribly fun to decorate. Ben has expressed wonderment about a tree like that delivered by UPS, so perhaps I will take photos and turn the process into a post.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. They never climb the fresh tree because I think the branches are too close together. Lower dingly-dangly ornaments get batted at, though.

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        1. We used to always do White Pine but when Nimue was a kitten, I moved to a fir because we caught her climbing the tree several years in a row. The prickly for trees did not deter her, but I think she’s too chubby now. So maybe we can go back to White Pine.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. We had an old cat that climbed all over the interiors of our trees. Ornaments would crash down in the night, smashing if they were glass, and we’d know Timmy was in the tree again. We finally figured out that he roamed the tree looking for tinsel to eat.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. I haven’t put my fragile, delicate ornaments on my tree for the last 10 years which is how old Nimue is. My Ukrainian eggs that I work so hard to make every year, I don’t have them on my own tree. Maybe I could put a few of them near the top this year.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. She is being repeatedly hydrated and syringe fed. I didn’t get an update this afternoon, so I assume she is holding her own but no change. We will hear more tomorrow. I am not optimistic.

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        5. Millie is brighter this morning but spiked a higher temp and isn’t eating. They are adding another antibiotic. I am even less optimistic.

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      2. Latest update on Millie is that her fever is normal without the added antibiotic. She isn’t eating, but the vet thinks that is due to her being in a strange environment. If her fever is normal tomorrow morning he will send her home with the steroid treatment, and we will see how she does.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I am no longer a big decorator. Halloween was not a big decorating event for me, ever. I put all my energy into some great costumes. The big Halloween displays seem to be something that have come about in the last 20 years. I have a scarecrow out and a couple of pumpkins, and that is about it. My beautiful red and yellow mums froze in the cold and snow of the last week.

    I used to do a lot for Christmas, and now, not so much. Having children around to wonder at it all seems to be the motivating factor for me.

    In 1986 when we moved back to the Cities from S. MN, and I had changed jobs, and got a divorce, both my son (age 5) and I got walking pneumonia that winter. Then the car broke down and we had to walk 8 blocks to the medical clinic for diagnosis and treatment. This was a low point. That year there was no tree and few decorations because we just slept all the time. We decorated the house plants and Santa came with presents. But Santa also had walking pneumonia. We finally recovered. I have always decorated with a tree since then, but I never fail to remember that low energy Christmas.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Kids are resilient. I hate the memory of one Christmas when my daughter was about eight. I worked for two months on a project but did not get paid for it because the guy heading it was strapped for cash himself. The money I did not make was equal to what we usually squandered on Christmas. When our daughter ran to the tree Christmas morning and saw how paltry the gifts were, she broke into tears. But guess what? She has no memory of that now. I sure do.

          Liked by 3 people

  6. I have 3 boxes of stuff for Christmas, plus a box of books and music, and the equivalent of a small box each for Spring and Fall Holidays. I love other people’s outdoor lights, and I do put up colored lights that I put in a swag in the 7 windows in the front solarium.

    I too am less motivated to decorate for Christmas when there are no kids around, but I’ve tried to do nothing, and end up getting out at least 2/3 or the stuff. And I do it different every year, just because that’s the fun part. I veer toward things with birds and nature,

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Daughter is coming home for Christmas, and she is excited about a tree. Our tree looks quite old-fashioned and traditionally German or Scandanavian, with the same wooden and glass ornaments and small white lights. I don’t do decorative colors or themes.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I commemorate holidays with food. I ordered slivered and sliced almonds for Stollen and other Christmas and Easter baking. They arrive on Monday along with Georgia pecans straight from the orchard.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’m not a big decorator. If I put decorations out, they tend to stay out, and then need dusting. I don’t have a lot of storage space for stuff anymore and I’m continually inheriting stuff from my mom because she doesn’t use it or need it anymore. I do like twinkly lights beginning at this time of year and ending immediately after Christmas. It’s easy for things to look cluttered when you live in a really small place. I usually decorate in late November and put it all away and clean right after Christmas. I don’t decorate at any other time of year. Maybe I should start decorating for John Prine’s birthday though. That’s a good idea!

    Liked by 5 people

  10. I regret so many trends in our culture that it is good for me to note trends that I happen to like. People didn’t use to decorate the outsides of their homes but now often do. I enjoy the more festive look of neighborhoods where people make a public statement about their seasonal joy.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. My mother had very mixed feelings about decorating for the holidays. As a Grade 3 teacher, she always had to decorate her classroom, which was work. She didn’t have the energy to do the same at home.

    She had very mixed feelings about Christmas, as she never quite got over Christmas of 1949 when her appendix ruptured when she was 7 months pregnant, and she developed peritonitis and my brother was born prematurely and died a few days after his birth. That was a hard tragedy to shake.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. We had a family crisis one Christmas. My mom, who had anxiety issues to begin with, began dreading Christmas because “something awful always happens.” Well, maybe. If you define “Christmas” as the weeks before and after the actual day, over several years you are bound to have years when something awful happens.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. For decades now I have lived by myself in a smallish condo. Holidays are almost always celebrated elsewhere (various family members) so decorating has never been a big deal for me. I used to host a Holiday Open House in December and did a lot of baking and decorating for that. But about 13 years ago I fractured my wrist in mid November and that quashed the Open House. There have been none since because so many people, including myself, had conflicts with numerous other holiday activities. I still do a bit of decorating for Christmas – less every year. I guess I’m not at the “Bah, Humbug” stage yet. I quit putting up a tree 10 years ago. This year I’m not sure what I will do – maybe lights on the patio door and some decorative linens. Like Krista, I decorate in late November and undecorate shortly after Christmas. That being said, I do enjoy seeing outdoor Christmas decorations – especially big lighting displays. Always seems so dreary once January comes and the displays are stored away for another year.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I put lights up outside for a few years. No one sees them but us, so we have to decide how important that is. Sometimes I bring home left over decorations from the Holiday concerts at the college. They’re usually just one season use. I’ve been given garage sale decorations… I’m too lazy to put them up.

    Inside, Kelly has a large collection of Santa figurines she displays every year. And we get a nice live tree and have a lot of lights and decorations for that. I’d almost be happy with just a ton on lights and no other decorations. Again, I’m lazy and it’s a lot of work.
    Is that missing the spirit??

    Other holidays don’t warrant much. The occasional window cling.

    Even Joseph, the 3′ tall plastic statue with the lightbulb in his back that we picked up from a ditch. He’s still out in front of the house sitting in a window well, and I talk to him, but his hats wore out, and his sunglasses fell off, and I think he’s still holding last years pine bows.
    I need to try and do better.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I’d like to return to the theme of decorating outside. I’ve been saddened by the tendency in some suburbs to ignore how a new home appears to neighbors. In some developments, new homes all look alike on the outside, and none are created with style. All the money goes into the interior. Conversely, people who decorate their lawns or the exterior of their homes obviously care about making their homes pleasing for neighbors and visitors. That seems to me part of being a good neighbor. In my old neighborhood people didn’t generally have enough money to adorn their home exteriors with fancy decorations, but many folks made an effort to add sparkle and color to the darkness of winter.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. One of our oldest and closest friends would put out a creche set at the holidays, the set itself being unremarkable. But in addition to the obligatory wise men and sheep and donkey, she arranged ranks of other figures she had collected. There were all the presidents up to JFK or so, and various performers and tradespersons and representative men and women not to mention animals, wild domestic exotic and extinct.
    We have attempted to emulate her display, but we don’t have quite the variety of visitors she had managed to collect.

    The conversation seems to have moved from Halloween to Christmas, but I was reminded of a photo I found in an antique store and found vaguely disturbing:
    Halloween costume

    Liked by 4 people

  16. OT YouTube channel post: Restoration is a big deal on YouTube. Something old, worn out, rusty, broken or just cruddy is restored to a condition like new or even slightly better than new. People show videos about restoring watches, cars, wood boats, books, kitchen appliances, tools, knives and Zippo lighters. Far and away, the most popular restorations involve metal toy autos by Tonka, Nylint, Buddy L and others. Tonka is the most popular.

    Metal toy restoration videos are mostly similar. Some restorers try to make replacement parts when they can. The magic moment in most of these videos is sandblasting.

    I’ve been impressed with how devoted people are. If someone posts a video with sloppy or questionable work, they get ripped by critics. I’m impressed by how many spouses apparently approved of their husbands buying a $1400 sandblaster so he could restore $7 rusty toy trucks.

    And here is one that seems appropriate for Halloween, at least at first.

    This probably seems silly, and yet I watch at least one of these a day. You might understand why when you get to be as old and decrepit as I am!

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Here’s one more for the night shift baboons. Most restoration YouTubers are guys in the US, but not all. Germany and France have some, too. Here is a restoration project from a woman in the Czech Republic.

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  17. I should explain, because it is too obvious for me to notice, our house is to some degree permanently decorated for Christmas. One cabinet holds about 60 carved Santas, another 40 are scattered around the house on shelves and tops of things.
    Clyde

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Sort of related: local paper headline says “Tricks-or-Treats.” Looked up the history of that. My whole life it has been trick or treat. Some says trick or treats. It says that in the old Peanuts Halloween they say the plurals. But it says that the plurals are dying out.
    Your fun irrelevant language item of the day.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Friends of my daughter were worried about trick or treaters bringing the virus to their doorstep. They have installed a plastic hose from their front door down four steps to ground level. They will show up at the door, wave and drop candy in the chute where the kids will have their bags ready to catch it.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. On October, 31 The Great Orange Pumpkin will arise from the White House Pharmacy Vaccine Patch and deliver vaccine to all the good little Trumpists around the world.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Christmas is turning into hell for pastors of churches in trump territory. My daughter got attacked in church today about canceling Christmas SS program. But she did not cancel it. Teachers refused to do it.

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      1. Peopl;e demand she come visit them in their homes but they say she cannot weasr a mask because all of that is a lie. It goes on and on

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        1. Not only is that disrespectful and inconsiderate, especially considering your daughter having donated one of her kidney’s, it’s not in the spirit of Christ. That has to be a very stressful situation for your daughter to be in, not to mention discouraging. I hope there are also those who express their appreciation of her ministry.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Two people proudly told her that every time people complain about her they defend her. Bu yes the huge majority are with her. It is just that people believe that attack any time in any way they want. Just a bad moment. But so many people are going through this: pastors, doctors, health care workers of all kinds, teachers.

          Liked by 4 people

  22. “In case you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, Merriam-Webster just officially recognized ‘irregardless’ as a word.”

    Jamie Lee Curtis

    Liked by 3 people

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