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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

With more time at home, families decorate early for the holidays

Lily Myers, age 5, helps mom Lydia Myers weave colorful Christmas lights in and out of the fence on a chilly Sunday afternoon on Sunday in the South Hill neighborhood of Spokane.   (Libby Kamrowski/ THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

While some people raked the last of the fall leaves, others stood on ladders stringing Christmas lights to bring a bit of holiday cheer.

Kit Patterson decorates his home on East 27th Avenue every year, but this year decided to start a bit earlier than normal, a full five days before Thanksgiving.

“With the pandemic, there’s not much else to do,” Patterson said. “We’re home constantly.”

He strings lights around the roof of their brick house and candy canes dot the front yard to make the house a bright beacon of celebration.

With two young children, the Pattersons plan to stay home for Thanksgiving, trading the big turkey for a lasagna. While Patterson got a jump -start on stringing the lights, he plans to wait to plug them in until after Thanksgiving dinner.

“I think it’s fine as long as you don’t plug them in yet,” he said of decorating early.

With little to look forward to this holiday season, except “the vaccine” Patterson joked, he’s excited to bring a bit of holiday cheer to the neighborhood and passersby.

Annie and Jeff Busch have their decorating plan down to a science. The couple string lights along the roofline of their home on West 37th Avenue then decorate the house pillars like candy canes. A handful of large wreaths complete the ensemble.

The whole setup takes just two hours, Jeff said. With warm weather on Sunday, the pair decided decorating before Thanksgiving was a good idea.

“It’s a lot easier to put them up right now than when it’s actually snowing outside,” Annie said.

The family plans to do both holiday gatherings with Annie’s parents who have been spending lots of time at the Busch house during the pandemic. Annie’s dad is the contractor renovating the family home.

Decorating inside will have to wait until after Thanksgiving, Annie said, hoping to avoid any more confusion for the couple’s 4-year-old son.

The toddler’s birthday was on Oct. 23, the day a storm blanketed Spokane in snow leaving the child to wonder if Santa came early.

“He couldn’t quite figure it out, with the snow and the ground and the presents,” Annie said.

While Christmas is still a month away, the Busch family are happy to join their neighbors in decorating for the holidays.

The wide road provides a perfect place for COVID-safe activities like walking, biking and looking at Christmas lights.

A few blocks over, Brian Myers was hard at work stringing one of the nearly 60 strands of holiday lights around the trees in front of his South Hill home.

While there are still a few days left until Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations couldn’t come early enough for the Myers family.

“My wife would prefer the day after Halloween,” Myers said with a chuckle.

Myers is part of “Christmas Tree Lane” on South Skyview Drive where each year after a holiday party one family who lives on the street takes their turn in ordering Christmas trees for each house.

Then they all decorate the trees in their front lawns, making for a festive block.

This year, Myers said he’s much more organized with his lights all wrapped properly and ready to be strung up.

“I’m turning into my father, well, my father-in-law,” he said with a smile.

In fact, the home Myers now lives in with his wife and two children was purchased from his in-laws a few years ago.

While his father-in-law did decorate, Myers said confidently he “goes a bit bigger.”