Once again the bunnies have arrived in Hillsmere—along with the chicks, eggs, flowers, glitter and lights. And Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too.
Leslie Donaldson's house, about a mile down Hillsmere Drive, has once again become a holiday extravaganza with decorations galore and her much-loved Easter egg tree. This year, there is even more to love.
"I only had four inflatables before," said Donaldson. "I have 15 now."
The additions haven't gone unnoticed.
"I like all the blow-ups she puts around," said 10-year-old Hillsmere resident Grace Gallant. "I think it's cool she has so many."
All the favorites from previous years are still on display, including the roof decor (Donaldson's favorite), strung lights, handmade flowers, candies and eggs.
"I started putting Easter [decorations] up about two weeks ago," Donaldson said. "I always do the tree first and I kind of let that be showcased for a little while before I put the other stuff out."
She admits she was a little slow putting away Christmas decorations. (She goes all out with those decorations, too.)
"We took it down really slowly—I ended up back in physical therapy," said Donaldson.
She fell off a ladder while decorating her house in 2008 and broke her back.
"I would say we probably got 90 percent of it brought in by the end of January," she said. "I always try to shoot for Valentine's Day in my mind. I really try to take it down in a certain order because it goes away in a certain order."
Sometimes the transition between being taken down and being entirely put away means the decorations end up in Donaldson's dining room awaiting return to storage.
"I'd rather leave it on the house than in my dining room," she said.
The house has become the focal point of attention in the community this time of year.
"Lots and lots of people stop by—it gets a lot of attention," said Donaldson. "I had three people today that parked and actually knocked on my door."
She loves that people stop, though she's not always prepared for visitors.
"I should know better this time of the year—I should prepare for it," Donaldson said.
Perhaps Grace summed up the spectator experience as best as anyone could.
"It makes Easter feel special and it makes me feel happy when I drive by," she said.
Every year, there is a contest for the kids that live in the Hillsmere community to guess the correct—or closest to correct—number of eggs on the Easter tree. That contest ends on April 16.
Patch knows the number of eggs on the tree, so take a guess and leave it in the comments section. An update will be posted after the community winner is announced so you can see if your guess was close.
Editor's Note: Patch is not participating in the contest, which is only open to Hillsmere residents, so your guess is just for fun and bragging rights.
What is your guess for how many eggs are on the tree?