Crissie Miller, her husband and teenage daughters have lived in Brambleton since relocating to Virginia from Florida in 2015. Crissie admits she likes being able to spend more time with her family these days, but being a teacher, she also recognizes the need to get creative to keep kids happy now that schools are closed.
She and her girls came up with an idea: “Hopping” yards around town. Here’s what that means. Instead of “flocking” neighbors’ yards – that prank where in the middle of the night you populate a yard with a flock of pink plastic flamingos – they decided to put a seasonal spin on a little late-night, well-intended mischief. It began for Easter, but has now morphed into general springtime fun to keep it going. No pink flamingos, just spring decorations like colorful plastic eggs hanging in trees, intended to give unsuspecting neighbors a chuckle the next morning.
“We don’t traditionally do outdoor Easter decorations, but we have lived in Germany before where hanging Easter eggs on trees and larger scale decorations were more common,” Crissie explains. And the plan was, so-to-speak, hatched!
“We knew from social media posts (and some Ring video doorbells) that it was well received,” Crissie said. It’s still going, and other Brambletonians have gotten in on the fun.
The Millers are using at-home time these days for schooling, work, outdoor exercise and family movie nights. At least once a week they make a point to order take-out from restaurants in Brambleton Town Center to support local businesses. The “Hopping” idea, though, originally inspired by their 14-year-old daughter, has put an unusually colorful new spin on family together time. The fact that the kids can sleep a little later every morning and that Crissie’s husband works from home means that Mom, Dad and the teens can spend some late-night fun time every once in a while. The “Hopping” includes placing an instruction sign among the decorations in each hopped yard so that others can know how to hop friends’ and neighbors’ yards, too.
“It is awesome to learn that it is still going on and bringing the JOY we wanted and hoped that it would,” Crissie said.
So if you wake up one morning to find a front yard full of vibrant, spring-themed decorations, don’t be alarmed. Just consider yourself “Hopped.” Then, stock up on some decorations, wake your family in the small hours of the morning, and hop to it yourselves. It’s just one more creative way for Brambleton residents to make each other’s lives even more colorful and fun this spring, at a time when everyone could use a little more laughter. And we think it’s a blooming clever idea.