Basically, we've been using Santa as a decoration ever since 2005 or so, which means he was the subject of the very first Christmas column that I posted online, way back in December of 2006:
He got skipped over in 2007, possibly because he was still in pretty good shape .... but then things deteriorated, leading to my first "zombie Santa" column in 2008:
By 2009 the inflatable Santa was just plain scary; I not only left him in the basement, I wrote a column explaining why he wouldn't be around:
Then, when I arrived back after a trip to Missouri to pick up Emily ... There he was, waiting in the front yard!
Turns out my oldest daughter and her fiance cleaned him up and decorated the house to surprise us ... which is fine, but based on the sharp chest pains radiating down my arm I'm thinking that in the future I'd like to know before Santa gets moved.
Here's where I mentioned it at the beginning of the next week's column. By the way, if you want to read something really scary, that one was my attempt at starting the legend of the Mustache Who Saved Christmas. In retrospect, I should have gone with the pun and called it the Mustache Who Shaved Christmas.
So that's the story of Zombie Santa. He faceplanted in the mud again, and didn't get cleaned properly (by me) again, so he's staying in the basement this holiday season ... but every now and then, in the dead of night, I hear him plodding up the basement steps, tapping weakly against the door with his limp plastic hand.
Maybe we should put him out for Halloween.