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How We Ended Up with a Giant, Inflatable Dragon

The kids and I have always enjoyed decorating for Halloween, but they kicked our decorations up a notch about four years ago. That year, my oldest had been saving her money for a while. She didn't know what she wanted to buy, only that she'd know it when she saw it. She was 11, and completely dragon-obsessed (and had been for several years).

And then one day when we were out shopping, she saw it. The giant, inflatable dragon.

She didn't have quite enough money saved, but she had most of it. Her younger brother and sister, then 9 and 6, had a little money saved, so between the three of them, they had just enough. Suddenly, we had a dragon, complete with color changing lights in his stomach and glowing red eyes.

Every year he's joined by a few more decorations, but he remains the centerpiece. It's fun to be outside when people in our neighborhood walk by, because their reactions are great. Most younger kids are in awe. Even the adults are pretty impressed. Every now and then you'll get a poor dog who's freaking out, especially if we happen to plug the dragon in, making it inflate, just as the dog is walking by. Sorry, dogs.

Somewhere around the same time we got the dragon, we also found our almost full-size skeleton, who we call Mr. Bones. Our dragon stays out through Thanksgiving weekend, but Mr. Bones like to celebrate even more - we give him a turkey hat for Thanksgiving and a Santa hat for Christmas, and he keeps greeting people from our porch well into January.

I have no idea how my neighbors feel about that, but eventually I convince the kids that Mr. Bones is ready to come back inside now.

This year's addition has been several new sets of ghosts.

The one on the left is the trouble-maker. He started out facing forward. Then he turned to talk to his friend. Next thing you know...

Several times when I've opened the curtains on the front windows in my living room, I've found him looking at me! I suppose I can't complain that it's creepy - he is a ghost!

I've also bought a whole bunch of lights this year (orange, purple, and multicolored strings) that I promised myself I'm going to put up this weekend. I'll just be glad if I get to it by Halloween.

It's almost the big day! Don't forget to stock up on candy - even if it's not for the trick or treaters!

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