Managing a merry (Christmas) menagerie

It all started with a moose.

The first decoration that Shane and Cindy Young bought 14 years ago was a large inflatable moose that sat in their front yard. In the years since, they have collected enough holiday decorations that they don’t know what to do with them all.

“We have more things now than we could ever put out,” Shane Young said.

The Youngs have created an inflatable menagerie at their Franklin home. Penguins help a bathing-suited Santa climb into a pool, while a polar bear wearing goggles and a snorkel frolics with a reindeer.

“JOY” is spelled out in large bubble letters. A candy-cane arch, guarded by Santa and an elf, greets visitors as they walk up to the house.

“It’s fun to do, even if it takes forever and a day,” Shane Young said. “We really enjoy seeing people’s faces when they come to see it. That’s the best part.”

Over the years, the Youngs have tried to diversify their Christmas compilation. They have a merry-go-round that rotates slowly in one corner. Penguins play on a pair of ice blocks. Illuminated candy canes line the front walk up to the porch.

One of the newest pieces is a white-frame Ferris wheel that spins with LED lights in front of the house. The decoration was difficult to put together, as Shane Young fiddled with parts and tiny pieces in order to make the 4-foot-tall Ferris wheel work properly.

The project took nearly two hours to complete. But once it was finished, it seemed to tie the entire yard together.

“When I saw it after it was done, I couldn’t believe how nice it looked,” he said.

Over the years, the family has collected decorations that each person prefers. Their daughters are partial to a Scooby Doo and a Hello Kitty character.

Cindy Young likes how the Santa Claus arch serves as an entry point to the entire display.

And Shane Young, being a fan of husky dogs, likes the Santa in a sled, being pulled by a couple of bobbing sled dogs.

“Nobody has a favorite piece, we like them all. There are just different pieces that mean something different to each person,” he said.

At a glance

Where: 432 Walnut St., Franklin

Residents: Shane and Cindy Young

Features: Various inflatables, including Santa in a pool, husky dogs pulling Santa in a sleigh, a giant Scooby Doo and Hello Kitty.

Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.