One doesn't have to walk or drive very far to realize that the joy and art of outdoor decorating for the holidays is still alive and well in the Marshall area.
From twinkling lights and shining ornaments to festive characters, garland, bows and more, the tradition seems to unite communities together for the Christmas season.
A 16-foot snowman spreads “Happy Holiday” greetings from its seasonal home along Whitney Street.
"The thing that inspires us is that we just love Christmas," 12-year-old Chloe Haukoos said. "This is my absolute favorite holiday. It's just a blast. I love it."
People passing by seem to enjoy seeing a variety of animated characters on the Haukoos' front lawn along Viking Drive in Marshall. Bumble, the abominable snowman, can be seen trying to put a star atop the sparkling Christmas tree next to Santa, who is popping out of a chimney.
"A lot of people drive by and stop in the middle of the road to look at our decorations," Haukoos said.
Next to Bumble and Santa is Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, whose nose really does blink on and off red.
"They're part of our character theme," Haukoos said. "We saw them and decided to buy them. We ordered most of our decorations online. I love them."
While Garfield and Odie were also on display, Haukoos and her parents - Michael and Shelley - typically have many more put up. But with a move across the state approaching in the future, the family cut back a little on the holiday decorating.
"Our whole yard was filled last year," Chloe Haukoos said. "We were going to put up a whole lot more, like last year, but now we're in a move to go to Albert Lea, so we'll be leaving here. We had to decorate one last time that we're here, though. My dad and I do most of the outdoor decorating, while my mom does the indoor stuff."
Another attention-getter this Christmas season is James and Emily Lozinski's enormous inflatable snowman at the intersection of Marshall Street and Whitney Street.
"He's as tall as our house," Emily Lozinski said. "He's actually our second one because our first one ripped. We got him at Menards. Jim said if I