Amber Sprinkle says when her family does something, they like to go all out. This explains at least in part why his childhood home on North High Street in Hillsboro is the brightest in town whenever Halloween and Christmas rolls around.
“Everyone seems to like it and the whole family gets involved too,” said Sprinkle, a 2000 Hillsboro High School graduate. “I think we’re all very similar in that aspect of our personalities. We usually go above and beyond, or we don’t.
Sprinkle’s childhood home is located at 434 N. High St. where her mother and stepfather, Kim and James McKown, still live. Sprinkle no longer lives there, but she does most of the decorating. She also decorates, but not as lavishly, for the 4th of July.
“My mom and dad (Steve Brethauer), when we were little, they used to decorate for the holidays. As I got older, my brother and I (the late David Brethauer) took it over, but I was the ringleader. of the reason we do it is because the community enjoys it. That’s the main motivation. Everyone seems to enjoy it. A lot of kids tell us stuff at Trick or Treat and a lot of people talk to my stepfather because he is a dentist and the one who interacts the most with the public.
It was in her late teens or early twenties, Sprinkle said, that she began decorating the exterior of her childhood home. She said she and those who help her keep the layout pretty much the same, but add a little more every year.
“I usually wait until after Christmas and then hit the sales,” she said. “Boxing Day, I’m everywhere to get lights and stuff, and mom too, whenever she can find something.”
Decorating for Halloween takes the most time, Sprinkle said. She starts putting things together and her husband, Travis, starts making props in mid-September. She said that once everything is ready, it takes about a week, working most hours of the day, to put everything in place. She said her mother helped out about three hours a day during that week.
“Someone told me it was too much,” Sprinkle said. “I told them they had to get out and cross because you’re going to see all kinds of little scenes that you can’t see unless you’re up close.”
She said the public is invited to stroll through the front yard and take a closer look.
“I hope they do because I like them to see everything,” she said.
Christmas decorations take about three days to put up. She said it was usually done the first three days of December. This year she had the help of her aunt, Marcy Laffen, and in previous years she had the help of Chrissi Murphy.
Halloween decorations usually fall on the first Monday after Halloween, weather permitting, and Christmas decorations fall after New Years, although this varies. They went down a bit earlier last year when there was a 60 degree day at the end of December.
Sprinkle said she got her love of decorating from her mother. She said she plans to continue decorating and adding to the display year after year.
“I love decorating anything, whether it’s parties, celebrations or landscaping. Anything that has a design is what I love to do,” Sprinkle said, adding, “We can add to it, change it here and there, change it in some way. But as long as we can do it, we will.
Contact Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.
Amber (Brethauer) Sprinkle’s childhood home at 434 N. High St. in Hillsboro is decorated for the holidays. The house is also decorated each year for Halloween and the 4th of July.