Circle Pines resident Mike Pederson, 30, has been decorating for Christmas since he was 14 years old. He now has over 150 plastic blow mold characters as part of his ever-growing collection.
Pederson, a 2008 Centennial grad, took third place in Press Publications’ first holiday lights contest for his display at his parents’ home, located at 3871 Flowerfield Road. The contest received more than 400 votes.
“I was over-the-moon excited. I was not expecting it, as there was so many great displays in the contest,” Pederson said when asked about his reaction to the recognition of his display, which uses many of the hollow molded plastic decorations referred to as blow molds.
When he was young, it was a tradition for Pederson to go over to his grandparents’ home in Perham, Minnesota, for a week while his father hunted. “I was never into the whole hunting thing … so my grandma and I would decorate the house (for Christmas).”
Although the decorations started out indoors, it didn’t take long for them to start trickling outdoors. “It grew year after year, and eventually it grew from the inside to the outside,” he recalled.
Of course, it wasn’t long before decorations also started popping up at his parents’ home. Pederson said he has always enjoyed looking out the window to see cars parked outside while their occupants checked out the display. “It is dark most of the winter, so it is my way of brightening up the holidays a bit,” he noted.
The blow molds that make up Pederson’s collection have come from all over—friends, online, stores. Pederson often tries to find deals after the holidays to add more blow molds to his collection, but that has gotten a bit difficult over the years as inflatables have seemed to take over the shelves. Pederson recalled that one year after Christmas, he drove around for five hours travelling to different Menards stores to try to find one of each reindeer (on clearance) to pull the sleigh on the roof.
One year, Pederson hit the jackpot when a gentleman in Coon Rapids said his blow mold collection was free to whoever wanted to come and take them down. Many of Pederson’s friends have also donated some blow molds to the cause.
Pederson takes the entire week of Thanksgiving off to decorate. His goal is always to have everything up and ready for admirers the day after Thanksgiving. The display usually remains illuminated until the weekend after the New Year. Throughout January, decorations come down little by little.
Each year, Pederson changes the display theme. He recalled one year when his theme featured Santa on vacation, relaxing in a hammock next to palm trees. If there are any blow molds he doesn’t use for the theme, or if he has any duplicates, Pederson often loans them out to his friends so their yards can be a bit brighter, too.
Lead Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.