10 a.m., Dec. 22)
Orléans pair devoted to Christmas illumination
By Fred Sherwin
are the wizards of wonder, the titans of twinkle and the
deans of outdoor Christmas illumination. They are the
people who spend hundreds of hours stringing lights, blowing
up inflatable characters and creating handmade anima-tions
for others to enjoy every holiday season.
are people like Bryan Getson who started creating his
front yard Christmas managerie shortly after Hallowe’en.
Getson stands in front of his Deavy Way home surrounded by his Christmas light display. Fred SherwinéPhoto
takes us three to four weeks to set everything up,” says
Getson, who first started decorated his Deavy Way home
in Queenswood Heights in 2003. “The goal is to always
have them ready the same day as the Parade of Lights.
This year we had four or five cars parked on the street
waiting for me to turn the lights on.”
he gets some help from his wife Tracy, the Christmas display
is largely his responsibility while she takes care of
all the Hallowe’en decorations.
was a bit upset this year because we had some trick-or-treaters
came by the house and the first thing they ask is if when
are the Christmas lights going up,” chuckles Getson.
he first started putting up Christmas lights, the couple’s
son, who is now 40, had already moved out on his own.
In those early years, Getson drew inspiration from a young
girl who lived down the street.
was about two years old the first time I put up some Christmas
lights and she just loved them,” says Getson. “Then the
next year she asked me if I was going to light my house
up again and so I went out and bought more lights and
have been building it up every since.”
little girl has long since moved away, but Getson still
spends hours on his set-up which updates every year with
new elements. At the centre of it all is a very large
inflatable of Santa’s sleigh with Santa perched on top.
It’s being pulled by four brightly lit reindeer surrounded
by candy canes and multi-coloured lollipops.
says he does it for the joy it brings other people and
for his own love of the Christmas season.
lady stopped with her children one year and handed me
a card and a box of chocolates. Apparently they she had
been out driving around with her kids looking at all the
different houses and they liked my place the most. That’s
the type of thing that makes it all worthwhile,” says
love of all things Christmas and especially Christmas
lights and outdoor decorations is shared by Taylor Pacey
who moved into his Valin Street home with his wife Melissa
two years ago. Shortly
afterwards, their daughter Parker was born.
the Getsons, the Paceys divvy up the decorating duties
between Hallowe’en and Christmas. The outside of their
home is festooned with lights as well as several inflatables
and cut outs.
actually comes by his love of outdoor home illuminations
naturally. His father used to set up a massive display
on the front yard of their Ste. Thérese Lane home in Convent
Glen every year and a young Pacey would help.
tell you the truth, I can’t remem-ber a year when I didn’t
help him,” says Pacey. Father and son still buy each other
lights every year, although Taylor has to work around
a few restrictions imposed by his loving wife.
won’t let me go to Canadian Tire anymore without supervision,”
jokes Pacey. “I tried to go with my dad once, but she
said she can’t trust either one of us.”
he put up the lights the first year, his daughter was
enthralled by all the colours.
would go around and check all the lights before bedtime.
It was our little thing,” says Pacey.
Getson, random people often leave thank you cards or boxes
of chocolates in their mailbox as a token of their appreciation.
why I do it It’s not just for us, it’s for all the people
who drive by and enjoy it with their own kids. It makes
it all worthwhile,” says Pacey, who has his own personal
reasons for doing it as well.
work at a body shop so some days can be pretty rough.
But when I come home and all the lights are on it lights
up my life. It sounds corny, but that’s the truth.,” says
his fellow home illumination enthusiast, Christmas is
Getson’s favourite time of year.
the one time of year when everyone comes together and
shares the Christmas spirit,” he says, not realizing that
he and Pacey and others like them are spreading Christmas
cheer one sparkling light at a time.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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