So up high on the hill in Elliott is a 22 foot high neon green Christmas tree. It goes up on Light Up Night and down after New Years. Best view is from the West End Bridge, but we can see it from our house, too. Read a blurb about it from 1999 and another from 2002.
It was originally owned by Fred Niepp, a second generation neon maker. When he closed his Downtown shop and bought the house in Elliot, he took it up with him. He sold the house and the new occupants continues the tradition of erecting the tree each year.
Ledcat looks forward to this each year – on Light Up Night, she peeks out the second floor window as soon as it is dark and says “There’s my tree!” She looks every night and is genuinely sad when the tree goes dark for the year – that the end of Christmastime for her.
We decorate inside the house, but not outside. We don’t have an electrical outlet in the front of the house and only one in the back. We’ve tried putting lights in the window from the inside, but it is hard to hang lights on oversized windows without massive infrastructures of hooks and nails and lots of ladder usage.
Plus, cats. Coco never met a window she didn’t want to explore and make her own. We have no idea how Maylee and Mamma Mia will be when they are free. Before then, it was Simon and Natasha getting into the decorations.
My dream is to line our entire exterior fence with holiday lights – we have four city lots so it is a bit of ground to cover and line up with our one electrical outlet – plus the second floor deck. That would be so cool. Decorating the backyard would be so much easier and make so much more sense even though only a few folks would see it on their normal routes. We would see it! But it would require about 90 zillion feet of lights and lots of big expensive exterior electric outlets.
But this year, I decided we needed a little Christmas of our own. So I searched for what seemed like weeks to find Laura her very own green Christmas tree – it isn’t neon, but it does light up the night sky from atop our second floor deck in the backyard.
After about an hour in the pouring rain getting it inflated and secured to the deck, here it is:
I ended up with soggy socks, but it was worth it. I’m hopeful this is a new family tradition and we will add new inflatables each year. If you have one you’re not using, feel free to donate. I’d like to fill up that second floor deck and the back yard – my dream is a giant snowglobe, a snowman, and one of those large plastic Nativity scenes. In our backyard. We’ll queer up the holiday yard decoration tradition, right?
So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Manchester and the Northsiders who end up driving down the alley behind our house.
Send us your unwanted holiday inflatables!