- Our Town
Lights bring out the Christmas spirit
“I’m not big on presents, but I do think that Christmas is the one time of year that people are a little nicer to each other, and little less aggressive and I feel like the lights bring that out in people,” says Yvonne McSkimming.
The lights she’s referring to are the ones on her house, and this year there are 52 thousand of them. Last year, there were just 50 thousand.
“I started collecting Christmas lights about 10 years ago, when I was still living in Vancouver. Every year I buy new ones to replace the ones that have burned out, and then I add more,” says McSkimming.
McSkimming spends weeks putting up all of these lights, which she says go up in order of which Rubbermaid container happens to be opened first.
“I don’t use any big plastic decorations or anything like that,” she says. “I like the lights to accentuate the beauty of the natural environment. I like to think of this as a big Monet painting that you can walk right in to.”
Last year McSkimming put a sign outside her house inviting people to pop in for tea. She says that 50 people accepted her invitation, but she thinks just about everyone from the Bluewater/Bowen Bay neighbourhoods stopped to gawk at the lights.
“I figure between 4 and 5 hundred people stopped to take a look,” she says. “People would drive by, and stop, then back up, really, they would.”
McSkimming said people were telling her to use the lights to fundraise for their upkeep. Instead she’s decided to fundraise for local charities. This year, her charity of choice is the Bowen Island Children’s Centre.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings until Christmas, she’ll be welcoming people to visit the display and also for hot chocolate and candy canes. Just up the driveway to the left there is a stand with the treats and a donation box.
McSkimming’s address is 855 Captain’s way.