October 19, 2018

Winnipeg
9° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

Get ready to light up the neighbourhood

Gillian Jones / The Associated Press files</p><p>Does someone you know always put on a spectacular Christmas display? Nominate them for the first ever Sparky Award! </p></p>

Gillian Jones / The Associated Press files

Does someone you know always put on a spectacular Christmas display? Nominate them for the first ever Sparky Award!

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/11/2017 (343 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Not sure how it all started, but my late father, Dave — he was crazy about Christmas.

When we were kids, there was no shortage of decorations around the house and our parents always made sure we had the latest and greatest gifts under the tree. We were truly blessed.

His near-fanatical need to have the most decorated house on his Charleswood street, however, really took on a life of its own when he was about 50 — the age I am now.

Sadly, we lost him to cancer at only 62 years old, back in 2006. The wonderful memories of his Christmas antics will forever live on in my mind’s eye.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 60 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 60 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/11/2017 (343 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Not sure how it all started, but my late father, Dave — he was crazy about Christmas.

When we were kids, there was no shortage of decorations around the house and our parents always made sure we had the latest and greatest gifts under the tree. We were truly blessed.

His near-fanatical need to have the most decorated house on his Charleswood street, however, really took on a life of its own when he was about 50 — the age I am now.

Sadly, we lost him to cancer at only 62 years old, back in 2006. The wonderful memories of his Christmas antics will forever live on in my mind’s eye.

It started innocently enough with strings of Christmas lights that seemed to grow longer each year. Then he began adding homemade wooden candy canes adorned with even more lights.

Then things really took off.

Although he was in the steel business, he enjoyed working with wood, and his workshop soon became dedicated to his love for all things Christmas.

One summer, he carefully built eight near life-sized reindeer out of wood, pulling a sleigh with a massive inflatable Santa at the reins. Rudolph’s red nose lit up the whole works, which he mounted on the roof of his garage! (I kid you not).

It was spectacular.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’d stop by to have a look at his progress, often finding him overhead, precariously poised on a ladder, installing even more lights on his two-storey house.

At the time I would laugh hysterically at the sight of my dear old dad spending most, if not all of his free time, making his yard look spectacular for his neighbours, who over time became not only his friends, but his fans.

I vividly remember pulling up one evening just a few days before Christmas and being worried something had happened because there was so much traffic on his typically quiet street.

It turned out to be a parade of folks simply driving by to have a look at his yard.

As I walked up to the house, the sounds of all those articulating and inflatable decorations was drowned out by Christmas carols blaring from the elaborate speaker system he installed around the yard.

As I stepped into his garage, the smell of sawdust filled the air and he was cutting out another decoration — nearby a table full of other pieces of freshly painted homemade handicrafts looked like an assembly line of love.

I told him about all the cars out on the street and he just smiled and said, sometimes he goes out and says hello, but, that night he had work to do.

I’m sure I then spent the next couple of hours cutting out decorations with a scroll saw.

His homemade decorations adorn our home throughout the Christmas season, and my brother, Allen, and his family have the wooden reindeers and the Santa sleigh in Ottawa. But one of my biggest regrets is not taking any photos of my dad’s yard when it was fully decked out.

It really was a sight to behold. He proudly compared himself to Clark Griswold of Christmas Vacation fame.

So, on that note, do me a favour. If you or someone you love has gone above and beyond to spread the Christmas cheer, please send me a photo of their holiday home and a short description outlining why they deserve the first annual Free Press Homes "Sparky" Award.

Sparky was the nickname Clark Griswold’s wife had for him in that Christmas classic. That movie always boosts my Christmas spirit, and always makes me think of my dad.

I haven’t figured out what the prize will be yet, but I can guarantee you, it will scream CHRISTMAS!

Just remember, folks — first we remember.

No Christmas decorations until Sunday. Then let those lights shine brightly!

willy@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us