Christmas lights, hay bales at Halloween, and Easter ornaments hanging from the trees on Easter Sunday: What does all this mean? The holidays, lots of them, are invading the garden. Gone are the days when you placed your Christmas tree in the living room window in December and put your flag out for national holidays. Now people are celebrating their holiday spirit in the backyard, front yard, porches, tree lawns, side yards and roofs. (Santa does come down the chimney, after all.)
From decked-out haunted houses to inflatable yard decorations that are taller than the average adult, embracing holidays with garden art is becoming a new tradition. Where people used to put wreaths on their doors at Christmas, now there are spring wreaths, fall wreaths, patriotic wreaths, and wreaths that are stand-ins for the parts of the year that aren't covered by other occasions. Holiday design spending, and not just at Christmas, is big business.
Since 2003, consumers have doubled their spending for Halloween, and that isn't all candy purchases. The next time you drive by your neighbor's house decked out in all of its Halloween finery, think about this: Halloween is second only to Christmas in retail spending, and outdoor decorating is a big Halloween tradition in many parts of the country [source: The Kitchen Sink].
In the next section, we'll get the lowdown on signs and banners.