If you’re just putting up your holiday decorations, a few area residents might snicker and think you’re slacking off. They had their halls decked weeks ago.
Christmas trees are lit up on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, at Erin and John Catone’s house in Saratoga Springs. (Megan Farmer – email@example.com)
Mikayla Moulton of South Glens Falls started plucking Christmas ornaments from boxes right after Halloween. The 14-year-old, who usually leads the charge in her family to haul out the holly, admits the holiday spirit kicked in earlier than usual this year and she went with it.
“I started thinking about Christmas and being with my family and it made me happy,” Mikayla said. “I remember going into school and going to my friend, ‘Hey, you might think this is weird but I started listening to Christmas music the other day. She was like, ‘It’s OK, I did too.’”
Mikayla’s mother, Tracey, said the teen and her older brother, Liam, have always loved Christmas, but Mikayla sometimes gets so excited that by the time it finally arrives, she ends up getting sick.
On Nov. 5, Tracey posted on Facebook a photo of her daughter standing in the living room next to an artificial tree. The caption read, “Look what Mikayla has been doing after school this week!”
“I came home from work and she had the Christmas music going and had started pulling the boxes up. It was fine; it was all good,” Tracey said.
In about five days, Mikayla had the house adorned with poinsettias, candles and stockings. Bells hung on the banister and miniature trees were in each of the bedrooms.
Mikayla said she doesn’t think she’ll get tired of all ornamentation by the time Christmas is here, but putting everything back in boxes afterward won’t be much fun.
Tracey thinks she will have to take over.
“(My husband) Kevin’s pretty good about helping with the tree and the outdoor decorations, but when it’s time to put it away, I guess that falls mostly on me,” she said.
This year, as in the past, Kathy Godsil-Lozo’s house in Hudson Falls looks like a winter wonderland with her stuffed snowman collection, wreaths and even sparkly lighted garland and a snowman bowl in her kitchen.
On the large tree in the living room hang several of her cherished ornaments, as well as her husband Charles’ favorite Star Trek figures. The smaller New York Giants-themed tree in the corner, however, is strictly for Charles.
The couple, together for 17 years, always worked as a team to begin decorating in mid-November and Godsil-Lozo decided to continue the tradition, although she now has to do it alone.
This was supposed to be the couple’s first Christmas as husband and wife but Charles died in August of cancer, just four days after a hastily arranged wedding was held in his hospital room.
Godsil-Lozo said it is “rough” this year without her husband but knowing he loved Christmas has inspired her to decorate the way they always did. And she plans to keep adding Giants in holiday outfits to the football tree every year.
“I believe he’s up there looking down and I wanted to do something for him,” she said. “His spirit is here.”
Erin Catone adds a new Christmas ornament to her tree on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, at her home in Saratoga Springs. Erin and her husband John have four Christmas trees in their home. (Megan Farmer – firstname.lastname@example.org)
For the Catones of Saratoga Springs, Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be the same if twinkling Christmas lights weren’t reflected on the bronzed turkey.
Erin Catone’s mother always got an early start on the holiday and Erin does, too. She believes her house is usually the first in the neighborhood to get dressed up.
“The neighbors probably think we’re crazy, but you know what? I get it. Some people think it’s too early, but I love it. It’s my house. Everyone has different opinions,” Erin said.
This year the festooning began a week after Halloween, which is early even for the Catones, but they arranged to take the same day off and their daughter came home from college to help.
They have the routine down to a science: the furniture is emptied from the first-floor rooms and John shampoos the rugs and polishes the hardwood floors. The decorating then starts in earnest and continues for two weeks.
A few days before Thanksgiving, there were candles in the windows, kissing balls outside the windows, and garland and knickknacks all around.
And you couldn’t miss the four themed Christmas trees.
Various incarnations of Mickey and Minnie Mouse appeared on the red-and-white-lit Disney tree, Mr. and Mrs. Claus donned blue-and-white baseball uniforms on the New York Yankees tree and Erin paid homage to her late mother with a memory tree that included all her ornaments and her stocking. The most majestic of the evergreens soars to the ceiling in the great room.
“It takes like 15 minutes to shut off all the lights at night,” John said.
By New Year’s Day, John will have had his fill of illumination and will be ready to store everything in the basement. Erin plans to keep the Yankees tree out for the rest of the year, though, and substitute Christmas bulbs with ornaments for the other holidays of the year.
“It’s so pretty,” Erin said.
This story was originally published on Post Star.