GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL — Many families have traditions.
For Candace Sheridan, driving around looking at Christmas lights in Calgary was one for her family.
“Back when I was small my favourite memory of Christmas was our family getting together in a car, driving like 20 minutes to see the big Christmas displays, and it would be a big event,” she said.
Now with children of her own, Candace and her husband Jim are making memories not only for themselves and their children, Aidan and Kelli Ann, but for many other children and their families as well.
When their children were young they started following the tradition of looking at Christmas lights with them.
“As they got a little bit older they said, ‘mom why don’t we decorate too,’” Candace said.
“We always put a few things out, building up when the kids were small, but about five years ago we started the Halloween displays – Kelli Ann and I love Halloween,” Candace said. “A lot of people were walking by and saying ‘we can’t wait to see Christmas.’”
It takes the better part of a month to set up the display, as Candace likes to do a little at a time to build anticipation.
“You see the school busses going by everyone is looking every day to see what’s different and what’s new,” she said.
They also try to tell a story with their displays, and usually go with the classics.
Themes are discussed during family movie nights. They talk about their favourite movies, and discuss favourite funny parts and what parts stood out the most, and that’s what they base their next theme on.
“We all get involved in it and its fun,” Candace said, adding she gets what she can around town. Signs are made by Stagg Signs, and everything from lights, electrical cords and hardware are bought in the community.
“Even the electrician came back after hours to put a special circuit in for us,” she said. “It’s for everybody – it’s not just for us. They all want to help out. Their kids enjoy it too.”
“We try to put stuff in for everybody,” she said.
The little ones particularity like the huge inflatable duck.
“Someone said to Jim ‘we know its Christmas when the duck goes up,’” Candace said.
“It’s a bit of fun for everybody and everybody gets excited.”