Passing her home in Oak Bay, the inflatable crayons and decorative school buses are tough to miss. You’d be safe to assume Monica Miller is a teacher, but you’d be wrong.
“Nope, I was never a teacher!” laughs Miller, standing on her front lawn on Lansdowne Road.
There’s a tribute to teachers displayed on the garage, flags, inflatables, and signs. “Teachers are so under-appreciated,” she says.
The displays garner plenty of appreciation from neighbours and passersby, as well as questions.
“We always want to know how big the storage container is,” wonders neighbour Grant Fenton.
Miller’s basement storage is full of perfectly labelled bins, some stacked ceiling-high. Inside are decorations for every occasion on the calendar.
“As soon as Christmas comes down, we put up a low-key New Year’s display on January 2nd,” she says.
Next is Valentine’s Day, followed by St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Miller is from Mexico, and despite very few Mexicans observing Cinco de Mayo, there’s a full display at her house.
After that it’s an elegant Mother’s Day display, followed by an elaborate Pride display in June.
After getting her Canadian citizenship a couple of years ago, massive inflatable geese and beavers adorn the front lawn.
“That’s a big one,” she says of Canada Day.
She sources most of the goods online. “Google is my friend,” she jokes.
As for anyone who says it’s a bit much, she counters that the everyday things in life are under-celebrated.
“The world is on fire, there’s so much stuff going on. If we can put a smile on someone’s face for something so silly, I’m all for it.”