Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Griswolds' Halloween

Meet the Griswolds.

Or, their house, rather. Trust me, this is tame in comparison to years past.

Their name isn't really Griswold. I just started calling them that around Halloween time the first year we moved across the street from them. Their house reminded me of something, but I just couldn't put my finger on it....

image: achristmasstoryhouse.com

I remember watching in fascination and horror that first October, as Mr. Griswold perched precariously on his roof line, stringing strands of flashing orange and green lights around each window frame. Lights covered every flat surface of the front of the home.

My mouth was agape as he determinedly staked blue, red, and yellow spot lights on the graves in the front yard, making sure to focus on the spooky skeleton draped across Dracula's headstone.

The blinking skull lights wound around the street lamp next to their driveway about sent me over the edge.

My parents weren't into Halloween, and I spent my early years in a house set so far back in the woods that no one wanted to visit on October 31st. The rest of my childhood was spent in a neighborhood of yuppie McMansions where everyone decorated their front porches with tasteful Autumn leaf wreaths, pumpkins, and the occasional "Boo!" sign on the front door.

So the Griswolds were a bit of a home decor shock to me back in 2003 when T and I moved in. Each October was marked with the sight of Mr. Griswold's busy adornment of his house, and it eventually became a tradition to watch him work and wonder how long it would take him this year.

Last year, Mr. Griswold was later than usual hauling his wares out of the garage. When I told him how much Natalie enjoyed the nightly show, he smiled and said he wasn't sure he was going to do it because his children were off at college. The next night, I grinned to see how excited my girls were when Mr. Griswold's Halloween handiwork lit the neighborhood night sky on L Avenue.

Sarah's post on making your home YOUR haven made me look out the window and think of the Griswolds. Their way of decorating their house might not be my style, but they spent years creating a fun place for their kids to enjoy Halloween and now they offer my kids a nightly show to rival a Pink Floyd concert. I don't cringe anymore when Mr. Griswold clambers up his ladder. I smile in anticipation of the shouts of excitement each night when the lights go up.

Happy Halloween!

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13 comments:

Mama Kat said...

We don't have ANY Halloween decorations up! I'm such a slacker.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

It is quite Groswold-ish, but cute, anyway!

Southern Fried Gal said...

Neat story!

Holly said...

Up until about 12 years ago, nobody decorated much for Halloween until just about the actual day. That's my life memory, anyway, spanning two countries and several states. Then all of a sudden Halloween lights and everything started showing up in stores, and people started decorating a couple weeks before. Now it starts Oct. 1 and the neighborhood looks almost as lit up as Christmas. I guess I'm used to it now, but I'm like you, it's not really my style.

Paula said...

Mr. Griswold is sure to go all out this Christmas now that he knows how much your little ones like the lights. I personally am way too lazy to put that much effort into outdoor lights or decorations, but I can appreciate people who do. People probably have a tradition of driving down your street to see his displays. You'll have to keep us updated on what he does this year at Christmas time.

knit1kids4 said...

What a sweet post.

glenna said...

I'm lazy with Christmas decorations, but love looking at the handy work of others. The tackier the better!

It will be a sad day for your street if and when "mr griswold" doesn't put up lights.

Menden said...

We have relatives of your Griswolds living in our neighborhood too!!! They never actually take down the decorations - that's the best part. I'll definitely have to remember to take some pics so I can share their Griswold-ness with ya :)

Hope you and T and the girls have had a great weekend! :)

Jennifer said...

I bet knowing how much your kids enjoy it really makes him happy too. That is what the holidays are all about, the kids.

Stopping by from SITS.

Farmgirl Paints said...

We have neighbors like that too. Have to admire their energy and determination to be festive:)

Paige said...

There is a neighborhood here in our area that the entire street decorates! It is amazing what they come up with each year, and that they have the time and energy to do it. I have never stopped to take pictures, but might have to next year.

Stopping by from SITS! Have a great day!

Jessica said...

super sweet! oh and I LOVE the name of your blog!
www.atlmomguide.com

Joy said...

That's a great story. I think every town has one. Fortunately the "Griswold" family in mine lives a few miles away. ;o)

Stopping over from SITS Halloween Parade :o)

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