A Toronto woman is embracing the absurdity of the holiday season after a spat over her zombie Santa lawn ornament ended with the shambling corpse of Saint Nick being stolen from her front yard over the weekend.
Riverdale resident Nikolina Nikolova — who is actually named after Saint Nicholas — told CBC News that she can't stop laughing about the situation, in what might be one of the most ridiculous cases of NIMBYism the city has ever seen.
"I think zombie Santa has lived up to the legend he was supposed to be," Nikolova said. "He had a jolly ending … There is no hard feelings."
Nikolova, who is originally from Eastern Europe, first picked up the full-sized Santa mannequin a couple of years ago and thought he would make a great Halloween decoration once he was drenched in fake blood.
There was just one problem — storing old Saint Nick was a real pain.
"He's too big, he takes up too much space in the basement," she said. "It's like storing a dead body."
So this year, she decided to leave him out after Halloween and let his ghoulish reign roll right into the Christmas season.
But then she came home about a week ago to find zombie Santa ripped out of his perch and thrown onto her front yard.
"I thought, 'Oh my god, what happened to zombie Santa?'" she said.
Undeterred, she put him back up, and tied him to a tree.
But the next day he was once again torn asunder and lying on her lawn — with the severed limbs that had been part of his display dumped on her front porch.
Once more, she put him back in his rightful place. But then last Thursday, someone left a note on her door.
"Your neighbours on the street would like you to remove the Halloween Santa," it read. "It's scaring the little children. Much appreciated."
That got on her nerves.
"The thing I didn't like about the note was it was anonymous, and I was home," Nikolova said. "If you're a neighbour and you want to talk to me, knock on my door. If they knocked on my door, I would have taken the thing down."
Instead, she wrote a note channeling the movie Dirty Dancing in response that included the line, "Nobody puts zombie Santa in a closet," and attached it to his perch.
On Saturday night, her son texted her to say zombie Santa was nowhere to be seen, and had been stolen. Slight anger quickly gave way to laughter over the absurdity of it all.
"At first, I was a little bit peeved, but then I started laughing," she said. "I think I laughed the most when I came home and his little boots were still on the front lawn.
"I laughed for about 10 minutes and put the limbs into the boots … the last remains of zombie Santa."
Though rolling her eyes at the passive-aggressive nature of her unknown foe, Nikolova says their cantankerous nature doesn't represent her entire neighbourhood, which has lots of good people in it.
"Nobody is really upset in our house about it … The whole experience is laughable."