FAIRFIELD — Blame it on Calvin and Hobbes, said Tim Holt, the man behind some whimsical snowmen on the 1500 block of Kingfisher Way.
The comic strip fan began cutting out the wooden figures last year and put five in his front yard.
Among them was one snowman being robbed by another with a blow dryer. The other set was a series of three featuring a snowman chomping on a snow cone, a snowman with several holes laying on the ground next to him. In the background a mother snowman shielded her young son’s eyes from what happened.
Holt added another five this year, including an old snowman, complete with snowballs on his back, being pelted by a rebellious youngster. Behind the youngster, a snowman stands with several holes, where snow has been removed to make the snowballs.
One snowman is “hugging” a tree, the result of going too fast on the sled.
The last of the 2013 debuts is the head of a “melting” snowman holding a sign that reads, “Let It Snow Please.”
He called them his “Bad Snowman.” Passers-by have stopped to tell him the snowmen brought smiles to their faces.
Holt grew up in the Colorado mountains where snow was common much of the winter. He recalled going out to get Christmas trees in snow that came up to his waist.
“I hope I never see snow again,” he said. Yet, he misses it and the snowmen display brings back the fond memories from his childhood and some pretty good snowball fights.
Ideas for 2014 are already circling in his head. A fire-eating snowman is one of them. Holt added animation this year so it’s within the realm of possibilities.
The snowmen take shape in his backyard where he uses a jigsaw to cut the forms. They are then painted with acrylic paints.
Most of the snowmen are between 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall.
Holt said working at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, where Halloween is a big celebration, inspired him to decorate for the holidays. He also decorates his front yard with big teddy bears with fangs at Halloween.
Handmade wooden figures also figure prominently in the front yard of Lloyd and Sharon Dashner’s Suisun City home. It was an 8-foot-tall wooden Santa that began his annual decked-out holiday house. That was in 1986.
He estimated there are about 30,000 lights on his Barrows Drive home, which is on the 1000 block. The home is featured each year on www.lightsofthevalley.com. According to the website, more than 200,000 used that particular site to find holiday lights in the Bay Area.
The Dashners will celebrate 50 years of marriage Dec. 31. For more than half of that, Lloyd Dashner has enjoyed watching people enjoy his efforts, which he estimated takes between 80 and 90 hours to set up.
The former Marine retired in 2006 and planned on having more time to add to the display. Too many interruptions kept him from building a desired small carousel for the display.
The couple can only guess how many people stop by to look at the display – based on the number of quick light flashes they see.
“We see cameras flashing all the time,” Sharon Dashner said.
It takes less time to take the display down, Lloyd Dashner said. Display removal also means Christmas is over.
“After it’s up for a while you get used to it,” Lloyd Dashner said. “It gets depressing without it.”
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.