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Lawns full of cheer


Residents deck more than halls



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David Langlais, above right, and his son, Dylan, with a frosty friend and other Christmas decorated lawn at 1081 Lebanon Hill Road. Adam Silva. (click for larger version)
December 07, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — To say Michelle Chenier is dedicated to Christmas is putting it mildly. More than two thirds of her sprawling lawn is covered in Christmas themed blow ups/blow motors — 51 to be exact. Also on her lawn are decorated trees, lights and a decorated gazebo, to name a few.

"I start buying new decorations and blow-ups Christmas night and shortly after," said Chenier, who has worked at Hyde Tools for the past 38 years. "Starting Christmas night, you can buy these blow-ups for around 75 percent off and with free shipping. I moved to Eastford Road two years ago from Gerard Street and now have a larger lawn. I started with a small snowman and Rudolph, which I still have, and just expanded from there."

The blow-ups stand upright by way of air pumped by a motor at the base. Most of the blow-ups last from year to year, but Michelle explains that necessary precautions must be taken in removing them from the ground. They are easily ripped when being pulled up.

"I keep them in my garage and my storage area under the house," she explains. "I typically keep them up until New Years or when a nasty snowstorm hits. My favorite decoration is probably my decorated gazebo, which has a lot of lights, smaller decorations and no blow-ups. I started playing instrumental Christmas music two years ago with the speakers hidden in the trees."

A large portion of her blow-ups are Disney characters in Christmas attire, but one of her more extravagant blow-ups is a nine-foot-tall Santa with a Christmas tree and penguin beside it. "I don't know why, but I thought it was 9-feet wide when I ordered it," she says with a laugh.

Michelle says that her biggest compliment towards the display was when a family from England pulled over so that they could take their children's pictures on her lawn.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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