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Illuminating Christmas on the Semiahmoo Peninsula
It’s time to deck the lawns – and raise hydro bills – with all things Christmas on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.
From neon lights, popping penguins and giant candy canes, many homes in South Surrey and White Rock have set up extravagant displays to get the festive spirit going.
Over at 2958 147A St., in the Heritage Trails area, Neil Higgins’ lawn is home to an array of holiday items.
What started out with a single, inflatable snowman in 2006, has turned into a front lawn covered in decorative pieces, including Higgins’ favourite piece, his Home Depot stock car.
Modeled after the car NASCAR driver Tony Stewart – who Higgins met in Las Vegas –used to drive, the orange car being driven by some frosty drivers has been a fun addition, he says.
Not a fan of ladders, Higgins admits his lights are pretty basic, but his lawn – boasting Santa’s sleigh, an airplane with twirling propellers and loads of Disney characters, more than makes up for it.
Although he originally put up the displays for his wife and daughters, who are now 19 and 21, Higgins said he continues with the Christmas tradition for all the young families in his neighbourhood.
“Seeing their faces and how much they enjoy it, that’s why we really do it now,” Higgins said.
The real estate agent even encourages his clients to decorate their homes, even if they are in the process of selling.
“It’s just one of those things,” Higgins said. “Christmas to me is still the happiest time of year, it brings out the kid in all of us.”
The big man in red stopped by Ken and Bonnie Fletcher’s Rudolph and Friends Christmas display located at their home, 15499 22 Ave., to welcome families from Variety Club who came to see the beautiful, bright display on Dec. 11. The Fletcher’s 12-year-old granddaughter Keyla dressed up as an elf to help guide the families through the light extravaganza. Keeping with tradition, the family is collecting donations for Sources White Rock/South Surrey food bank. Annually, the family brings in $1,000 for the food bank.
The family also invites visitors to come in and enjoy the display in their garage, where kids can engage the push-button toys.
The holiday display began in 1997 and grew exponentially from there, thanks to Fletchers’ children, said daughter Leslea Ferris.
“Their birthdays are in October, and when they started doing the house and little bits in the backyard, we decided to get them more and more stuff,” Ferris said.
As the display grew, the family decided they would raise money for a local charity, deciding on the food bank in 2004.
This year, Ferris and her family have seen many of the food bank’s employees out with clients, showing off the display.
“It’s great, it’s the first time that we have been kind of connected on this,” Ferris said.
The display takes every weekend in the month of November to put up, but Ferris says the time spent is worth it.
“It’s really a big family thing, we all get involved and it brings us together,” she said.
More than 250,000 lights, toy soldiers, a gingerbread house and gingerbread men decorate the lawn of the Huxtable family at 16681 20 Ave. The display has been collecting donations for BC Children’s hospital for the past nine years. Each year, the decoration process begins at the end of October, and no display is ever exactly the same.
“Each year we kind of change it up a bit, our basement is full of decorations,” said Orisa Huxtable. “This year we have clowns playing hockey.”
Stanley and Janet Scott have continued their tradition of decorating their 40-foot monkey tree in their yard at 2204 152A St. “Each year it grows another six feet and I tell my husband to leave it, but he just says he will get a bigger ladder,” said Janet Scott.
Denise and Rob Diewert will continue their holiday tradition of placing a beautiful holiday display on their yard at 2649 King George Blvd. The display has been a sight to behold for more than a quarter of a century, with the exception of Christmas 2009, when their garage was crushed by a tree in a November wind storm, and another setback with the theft of some of their decorations. Although it was disheartening to have the decorations stolen, Denise laughs when she recalls the call to the police. “They knew exactly which house it was when we called them because they had driven by so many times to see the display.”
369 165A St. has another Christmas lights spectacular, with more than 45,000 lights, including 190 icicles on top of the house.
Gheorghe and Rodica Grigore have a few Santas in their display, including a 12-foot-tall Santa Claus to take a look at.
There will be also be a musical Christmas lights show with 20 different songs.
2968 North Crest Dr. will once again have their light display on their front lawn this year. Numerous lights in the shape of animals and trees decorate the lawn and in the midst of it all, there is a Nativity scene.
The Kinna family in Cloverdale is back with a display at 16956 60A Ave.
The family is collecting funds for the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Donations will go towards the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Lights will be on Sunday to Thursday until Jan. 2.
Terry and Sandra Hartree have a beautiful display at their home, 3248 141A St.
With more lights than they can count, the display is sure to please viewers, said Terry.
“The best part is the response from the people who come down to see it and get into the Christmas spirit,” he said.
The Christmas Store at Potters Nursery, 19158 48 Ave. will have their Christmas display lit daily from 5 to 9 p.m. Tune into FM 105.5 for the free, 20-minute lights how synced with holiday tunes.
• 15904 North Bluff Rd. Lit daily until 10 p.m. to Jan. 1.
• 16681 20 Ave. Lit daily from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., up to Dec. 26. Donations collected for BC Children’s Hospital.
• 2204 152A St. Lit daily at 5 p.m., up to Jan. 1
• 2649 King George Blvd. Lit weekdays from 5 to 10 p.m., weekends to 10:30-11 p.m., up to Jan. 2
• 15499 22 Ave. Lit daily from 5 to 10 p.m. Donations collected for Sources White Rock-South Surrey Food Bank.
• 2968 North Crest Dr. Lit daily from 4 to 10 p.m., up to Jan. 1.
• 16956 60A Ave. Lit daily though December. Donations collected for Surrey Memorial Hospital neonatal intensive care unit.
• 2958 147A St. Lit daily from 4 p.m.
• 3248 141A St.
• 15836 Collingwood Cres.
• 6369 165A St. Lit weekdays from 5 to 11 p.m. and weekends from 5 p.m. to midnight through to New Years Eve.
• Potters Christmas Store, 19158 48 Ave. Lit daily until Christmas from 5 to 9 p.m.