Holiday decorations come in all varieties, but we bet you haven’t heard of the dino variety.
Then, again, if you had the chance to drive by Chris Metcalf’s house in Springville over the holidays, you know just what we’re talking about because her yard was dotted with holiday-themed dinosaurs from triceratops to pterodactyl and nearly everything in between.
Metcalf, who is a full-time grandma to her five grandchildren, began collecting holiday dinosaur blow-ups about four years ago when her grandchildren started showing an interest in dinosaurs. She said that it started out small, and things have gotten a little out of hand.
“About four years ago, my grandkids were just crazy about dinosaurs, so I bought a couple of them and that was fine at the time,” she recalled. “And then the next year they offered a few different varieties, and so I grabbed a couple more. Then last year, they had even more designs, so it was up to 23 dinosaurs. I pretty much had everything that was available, and I would just go online looking for different types of designs. But this last year, I started buying back in July and there was a small explosion of new designs that became available. So I just started buying them as soon as they became available, and pretty soon I had over 50.”
Metcalf said that even with her vast array of dino designs, her grandchildren still wonder why she doesn’t have all the dinosaurs represented.
“I just had my fifth grandchild, and my oldest is seven. They know all the names of all the dinosaurs, and they know everything about them and they want to know how come I don’t have a parasaurolophus or an ankylosaurus. This year I got a pterodactyl,” she said.
“My grandkids would like me to do dragons, but I tell them they’re a little bit of a different creature. I try to keep it all strictly dinosaurs. I try to get the ones that are more animated and look like a real dinosaur rather than the painted blow-up ones.”
It isn’t just her grandkids who enjoy the holiday dino display, but locals and passers-by have taken notice.
“I constantly get people all night driving by and taking pictures,” she said. “I get lots of feedback that people love the theme of dinosaurs, which is kind of unique and it’s just been fun. It’s just fun for kids and my grandkids to enjoy and for the community to have fun with.”
Metcalf said that she keeps them up all season long rather than deflating them at night because she said there gets to be ice buildup and it’s hard to dig them out without damaging them. She acknowledged that it’s a lot of work to put up, take down and to maintain, but that it’s all in a (several) days’ work for this full-time grandma.
“I’ve basically been working as a full-time grandma since I retired,” she said. “It’s the best job, and I love watching them get excited about all the dinosaurs. Next year I plan to expand into my backyard.”