It's impossible to feel grumpy at Disneyland. The same can be said of Sue Myhre's home in Coarsegold. Walk in and feel the magic. Dancing, caroling, wiggling and "shaking-its-booty" snow people line the library.
Fifty nutcrackers stand at attention in the guest bath, with boxes wrapped like presents hanging on the walls.
Teddy bears, all with names, surround the den while soft Christmas music plays in the background. Santas fill the space between kitchen cabinet tops and the ceiling.
A tree is loaded with old-fashioned ornaments from her childhood, including Myhre's favorite a snowman her father brought back from Okinawa during his service in the U.S. Navy. The scene is completed by an electric train circling the tree base.
A second tree, 10-feet tall, fills the livingroom, with boughs heavily laden with differently-themed ornaments. Spotty snow covers the ground outside, while a warm fire crackles in the fire place to take the chill out of the air. The only thing missing is the milk and cookies.
All this requires not only dedication, but time. Myhre begins decorating around Halloween, in the hopes of having the entire home transformed by Thanksgiving. She's been going nuts for Christmas for 20 years now, with each year getting bigger and better.
"I love Christmas so much," Myhre said, "that I leave the tree in the guest bedroom up all year long. During the summer, when it's so hot, I can sit in that room, close the blinds, turn on the tree lights and Christmas music, and think of cooler days ahead."
Even though her husband, Larry, thinks it's time to put the tree away, Myhre holds the opinion that as long as the heat stays the tree stays.
"All this is a lot of work, but so worth it," Myhre added. "If it was just for us, it wouldn't be, but we host parties for our friends from the Bay Area, as well as our friends here, and end up leaving the decorations up through mid-January to share. Everyone just gets so excited when they walk in."
Myhre, a former floral and gift shop owner, is accustomed to attention-to-detail, so every teddy bear, snow person, nutcracker, or Santa is placed in just the right spot. "My bears are just so happy to get out of their boxes, that they practically jump up for joy because they will be a part of the festivities this year." And so, just as with Disneyland when the time has passed far too quickly it's difficult to say goodbye, to leave behind such a magical place where the childlike wonder in those younger and older can't help but surface and linger, if only for a while.