For more than 15 years Santa Maria attorney Michael Clayton has decorated the outside of his office on Miller Street into a Christmas and holiday wonderland.
“So many people, and I don’t want just say the kids, but so many people, elderly, the public SMAT buses roll up and they allow the elderly to look at all the Christmas lights”, Clayton says, “its heartwarming to see those little kids come running up and screaming the word “Santa”, and jumping straight into his lap, and from December 9 to December 23, Monday through Friday, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, Santa Claus is going to be sitting right there.”
Clayton says it didn’t take long for the Grinch to show up and make his presence known at the elaborate, over the top display.
“I only had some of these displays up for a couple of days and they were gone”, Clayton says about some of the huge inflatable decorations he has on his front lawn, “I’m missing a couple of balloons over here in which there was a helicopter and a Snoopy sitting on top of his dog house, I came back the next day and they were gone, even the electrical lines plugging into them were all gone.”
Clayton says he willingly spends his money and time on the decorations to get people into the spirit of the holiday season.
“It means a lot because we’re giving to the community something that is intangible, you can’t calculate how this will turnout”, Clayton says, “the fact is we’re spreading cheer to everybody, hoping that’s going to touch on them to spread a little cheer to everybody else.”
Despite the theft, Clayton says he’s as excited as ever.
“You know what our spirits are not dampened here on this corner and not in Santa Maria, because we know what Christmas means to us”, Clayton says, “we know that if you grew up enjoying Christmas and this whole spirit behind Christmas, then stealing a couple of little Christmas toys or items, that’s nothing, we can totally live with that.”
“If they want to bring it back that’s fine”, Clayton says, “if they took it for a reason to give it to a little child in their family who’s gonna do without this season then keep it.”
Clayton points to other outdoor holiday decorations in Santa Maria as an example of the undying spirit of the season the Grinch can’t steal.
“It has, it does, you see other places, other businesses, other residences that go over the top”, Clayton says, “that’s how we are in Santa Maria, that’s how we roll in Santa Maria.”