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Considines of Easthampton an attraction for the holidays

  • Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, of Easthampton decorate for Christmas inside as well as outside with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, of Easthampton decorate for Christmas inside as well as outside with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Glenn Considine of Easthampton sits with his daughter, Kimberly, and their cat Sunny, among the Christmas decorations in their living room. The Considines decorate outside as well with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Glenn Considine of Easthampton sits with his daughter, Kimberly, and their cat Sunny, among the Christmas decorations in their living room. The Considines decorate outside as well with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • The Considines of Groveland Street, Easthampton, set up several dozen inflatable characters in their front yard as part of their Christmas decorations.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    The Considines of Groveland Street, Easthampton, set up several dozen inflatable characters in their front yard as part of their Christmas decorations.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, of Easthampton decorate for Christmas inside as well as outside with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, of Easthampton decorate for Christmas inside as well as outside with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, of Easthampton decorate for Christmas inside as well as outside with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, of Easthampton decorate for Christmas inside as well as outside with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, stand outside their Easthampton home with one of their Christmas inflatables, the word "joy", which happens to be Karen's maiden name and Kimberly's middle name.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, stand outside their Easthampton home with one of their Christmas inflatables, the word "joy", which happens to be Karen's maiden name and Kimberly's middle name.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, of Easthampton decorate for Christmas inside as well as outside with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Glenn Considine of Easthampton sits with his daughter, Kimberly, and their cat Sunny, among the Christmas decorations in their living room. The Considines decorate outside as well with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • The Considines of Groveland Street, Easthampton, set up several dozen inflatable characters in their front yard as part of their Christmas decorations.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, of Easthampton decorate for Christmas inside as well as outside with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, of Easthampton decorate for Christmas inside as well as outside with several dozen inflatable characters dotting the front yard of their Groveland Street home.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Glenn and Karen Considine and their daughter, Kimberly, stand outside their Easthampton home with one of their Christmas inflatables, the word "joy", which happens to be Karen's maiden name and Kimberly's middle name.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

“Each year, it grows by one or two,” said Glenn Considine — jokingly referred to as Mr. Christmas by his wife, Karen. “Whenever there’s a new snowman or penguin, we have to get it.”

There are a few houses like this in every town during the holiday season — houses where the owners go a little wild with Christmas lights, inflatables, Nativity scenes or other yuletide displays. Most would probably say they do it to make people smile, and the Considines have a special someone in mind.

“We go all out because of our daughter,” Considine, 66, said. “The holidays are always a big time for her.”

Kimberly Considine, 39, is developmentally disabled. Every day she boards a bus at her Groveland Street home that takes her to Riverside Industries, an Easthampton nonprofit that provides job training, employment and other services to disabled people.

“We do it for the kids at Riverside Industries who ride the bus with our daughter,” Considine said. “They look to see them every day. They know how many we have, they even know if we have one we haven’t put up yet. They’ll say, ‘Where is that penguin?’ ”

The inflatables go up in the morning, when the Riverside Industries bus comes by, go back up in the afternoon when the bus returns, and stay up into the evening for the entertainment of whoever drives by.

“The FedEx guy today was taking pictures to show his kids,” Considine said, and some people have asked to take photographs of their children with the blow-up decorations to use for Christmas cards.

“We like to see people enjoying it,” he said.

A growing collection

Considine said he bought the first inflatable lawn decoration at Costco a decade ago. They’ve lived on Groveland Street for three years, and he said the long front lawn can better fit the small army of inflatables than their last house in Westfield.

With the growing family of inflatables, Considine has become something of a pro at putting them up every year. “It takes about an hour to put up each one. You have to make sure the lights are working and stuff like that,” he said.

“Each year we add a few because there are always some casualties, like from an ice storm or if a motor burns out,” he said. “If they tear, the simple fix is just duct tape.”

Because some of the decorations require multiple cords to power the motors that keep them inflated and the lights, the job requires 85 extension cords. On average, he said, it adds about $150 onto his electricity bills per season.

The 8-foot-tall figures can survive a small snow squall, he said, but as soon as the first big snowstorm hits, they spend the rest of the season hibernating under the drifts.

“Three years ago they were only up for a few weeks before they were buried for three months,” he said.

Besides the line of 36 blow-up figures, colored lights line the eaves of the house and a large tree near Route 10 is covered with 300 lights on 12 strands.

“Every year I try to do something different with the lights, and this year that was doing the tree by the street,” he said.

The inside of the Considine home is decorated as elaborately as the outside. In addition to a giant Christmas tree, the living room is filled with holiday-themed stuffed animals, including reindeer and snowmen wearing red and green scarves, and a table is hung with stockings and covered by an expansive Christmas village.

“That’s a scaled-down version,” Considine said of the village. “Every year we say, ‘we’re done,’ but we keep adding to it.”

Considine said he might grumble a little when it’s time to set up the decorations, but it’s always worth it.

“Kimmy is our instigator for us to get everything out every year,” he said. “I usually start Thanksgiving Day, but I think I might start earlier next year. It takes me a little longer every year.”

He works full-time at Lowe’s in Hadley, and around this time of year, people are often discussing Christmas decorations.

“People will say, ‘Have you seen the house with all the decorations off of Route 10?’” he said. “And I’ll say, ‘That’s mine.’ ”

He and Karen Considine could give guided tours of the Pioneer Valley’s Christmas decoration displays; they know the houses with the best lights and decorations, from just across the city to those in Northampton, Westfield and West Springfield. Every year they go for drives with Kimberly to check out them out.

Sitting in his living room, surrounded by decorations from Santa candy dishes to snowman pillows, Glenn Considine said his family never gets tired of seeing the glow of headlights passing slowly by as people pause in front of their home to admire the display.

“We catch ourselves doing the same thing,” he said.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

Legacy Comments1

These folks deserve a big hand and show of support for all the smiles they bring to the kids. I have even noticed a few bah humbug types restraining smiles. This Grammy says thanks a million!

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