I admit it -- I go a little overboard decorating for holidays.
I'm not just talking about Christmas, either. I have lights for every occasion.
Look in the Rubbermaid tote in the closet in the spare room in my house and you'll find pink and red hearts for Valentine's Day, shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day, little yellow chicks popping from purple eggs for Easter, American flags and red, white and blue lights for the period from Memorial Day through Independence Day, pumpkins, ghosts, bats and witches' hats for Halloween, turkeys for Thanksgiving and reindeer and snowflakes for Christmas.
I'm just a really festive person who enjoys theme decorating.
When they came out with those huge blow-up snow globes for yards, I really, really wanted one.
My friend saw them, and she knew I'd have one if left to my own devices.
She immediately called my husband to give him the heads-up that these monstrosities were available so he could issue the order that I was not to get one.
He's got a good sense of humor, but he's got his limits.
My father-in-law works at a Target store, so when seasons are over, he buys whatever he can get his hands on that is $5 or less.
This past weekend when we were visiting my in-laws, we inherited a huge box full of orange lights, along with new jack o'lantern and ghost lights and a plastic tombstone that makes eerie sounds.
My husband was less than pleased ("Thanks, Dad ... where am I going to put all this crap?"), but my father-in-law has known me for a long time and knows I would never turn down free decorations.
So, this weekend we will be putting up lights. We live way back off the road and no one will see them but us, but I don't care.
I love being surrounded by twinkling lights. I love fall, and I love every holiday from Halloween onward.
I probably inherited my penchant for overdecorating from my father -- he didn't know how to do anything halfway.
When my daughter was 3, she went through a phase where she liked ice pops.
My dad went to Sam's Club and bought a case -- 350 of them.
I think they lasted her three summers.
When my mother decided she wanted to start colleting covered dishes, my dad started combing antique shops in earnest.
She had a china cabinet full of them within a month.
If one was good, my father reasoned, why wouldn't 100 be better?
I know when I decorate for holidays I walk a fine line between festive and tacky, but I like it that way.
Now that my dad is gone, I feel like I am carrying on his tradition when I drape fake cobwebs over ever still surface at Halloween or wrap pine and holly garland around every banister or pole I can get to at Christmas.
He just wanted everything to be special for us ... and, largely because of him, it was.
There are worse things I could have picked up from my paternal gene pool. This was one of my dad's most endearing qualities.
I told my husband I wanted so many lights on my house this year for Christmas that an aircraft could land safely on our roof.
For me, I think, decorating is about more than each individual holiday. What those lights and trinkets remind me of is that there are things in every season, in every day, really, to celebrate.
At least that's what I tell my husband.
But he still won't let me have the snow globe.
I guess he has to draw the line somewhere.
Jamie Barrand is the editor of the Banner Graphic.