For the past six years, Qualico has hosted a Christmas Light competition in their Ravenswood neighbourhood. airdrielife publisher Sherry Shaw-Froggatt has ridden along as a judge every year. This is a Q&A with the 2016 winner, Dan McPherson.
airdrielife: How many years have you been decorating for the holidays like this?
Dan McPherson: The first time I started making Christmas decorations was about three weeks after we moved into our home in Airdrie, in October 2014.
AL: How many different pieces do you now have in your collection?
DM: I have over 80 characters and approximately 100 other pieces.
AL: What is your favourite piece?
DM: No favourites, but I like the action characters the best.
AL: How much more do you plan to do or change?
DM: In June I bought a welder, to learn how to weld, so I could make decorations for my roof. I’ve made 18 new pieces so far and upgraded to metal holders for most of my pieces.
AL: WHY do you do this? What is your favourite memory/moment that has happened since moving to this house and creating this great display?
DM: Every year people have knocked on our door and thanked us for making Christmas memorable. The first person to knock on our door was a little girl who gave us chocolates and thanked us for making a nice display. As she was leaving she turned to my wife, Joanne, and said “I really like your Grinch.” How can we not do something like this, when people are so appreciative?
AL: So do your neighbours love you or….???
DM: We have had so many neighbours comment on how much they like it. Last year our neighbour next door helped us extend the display into their yard. Just recently several neighbours said they can’t wait to see what I have been working on for this Christmas.
AL: Any idea how many bulbs you actually go through each year?
DM: We don’t go through many bulbs, as most lights are LED. Occasionally we go through a few coloured spotlights.
AL: How many hours does it take to do this?
DM: It takes about a week to set up the display. After that, I spend a week or two moving things around and changing the lights and light sequence.
AL: What is your age?
AL: What was your career before you retired?
DM: I owned and operated a custom picture framing shop for the last 13 years before retiring in 2007.