Originally published Friday, November 24, 2017 at 02:48p.m.

It seems just like yesterday that Chris and I finished taking down the decorations from our 2016 Christmas display, packed them up, put them into storage, and thought we had a year-long breather.

We also believed we set an unbreakable record last year with about 100 blowups, 70,000 lights, and a whole bunch of other display items. We even had a Christmas-themed decorated porta potty like the ones you see at a construction site for the visitors to use. I even passed out candy canes throughout December to all those visitors who drove by to check our Christmas display.

We had a year break from decorating? All I can say is WE WERE WRONG!

Even before we took down the 2016 Halloween and then Thanksgiving displays (yes, Chris decorates for just about all holidays), we were knee deep in the 2017 Christmas display planning, preparation, were even in the garage periodically fixing items that got broken last year, and marveling over the new decorations we had acquired.

I guess I should have realized that last year’s record would go away like a stampede of cattle since I am married to Chris Marie. She is like the “queen of decorations,” and I should never have thought something isn’t going to happen when it comes to her. You know the old saying: “Expect the unexpected.”

When we started attempting to figure out where all of the Christmas decorations were located in the various storage areas, I quickly realized the 11-by-17-foot metal shed she had her decorations in didn’t hold everything. We had stuff we purchased since Christmas in just about every nook and cranny in the garage, our closets, a 30-foot travel trailer that was gutted, and shelves installed in other areas I didn’t even know existed.

This year we are planning on having more than 100 blowups, 75,000 lights, and a bunch of other cool looking Christmas items to display. The Christmas-themed decorated porta potty has trekked into the history books and no longer garners our driveway.

Many probably wonder why we go to such lengths to have an over-the-top Christmas display. Well, it is simple. Many of our neighbors are elderly, don’t have the capabilities to put up decorations themselves and live on fixed incomes. It is Chris’ and my way of giving back to the community. We figure as long as we can afford it, we will have a display each year for all to enjoy.

Some of our neighbors have even approached us wanting to help out with our electric bill for the period the display is up.

Both Chris and I say, “No, thank you.”

However, we have decided again this year that we would have two donation boxes strategically located in our front yard – Toys for Tots and For The Luv of Paws, a no-kill animal shelter in Golden Valley.

Chris tells me she plans on having all of the Christmas blowups and various other display items up and running by Friday, Dec. 1. According to Chris Marie, the display will be up and running each night for at least four hours after sundown and she plans on keeping the display up until Jan. 2.

People who would like to visit the display at our home, 2225 S. Dome Road in Golden Valley, can do so by turning south on Egar Road (Mile Marker 17) from Highway 68 and driving south for 4-½ miles, turn right on Tapeats Road (if you arrive at Shinarump Road you’ve gone a half-mile too far). Head west for about one-half mile and you can’t miss the display at the corner of Tapeats and Dome roads.

Don’t forget that if you do decide to visit our Christmas display, it isn’t mandatory, but we would appreciate it if you would bring a bag of dog or cat food for The Luv of Paws and/or a new unwrapped toy to be turned over to the Marine Corps League Detachment #887 and the Marines who will be passing out toys this year to local needy children

We say Merry Christmas in advance, and hope to see everyone cruise by our Christmas display extravaganza.