A couple in central Alberta have filled their home with Christmas joy, including mistletoe, Santa Claus figurines, holly, nutcrackers — and 90 artificial trees decorated with thousands of ornaments in themes from Halloween to gay pride.
"Every room has trees. Every bathroom has trees," Vince Jackman told the Calgary Eyeopener.
Jackman and his partner, Tom Kereluk, started decorating artificial trees about 13 years ago in their home in Red Deer, Alta. Now they share their display with friends and the public to raise money for charity.
Each year they've added a few more trees to accommodate their growing collection of ornaments, gleaned from their travels around the world.
"That's how it works, a few more each year," Kereluk said.
The trees reflect those trips. They've got one for each Disney destination, Venice, Ukraine, two for Las Vegas, and a prize tree in the master bedroom for Bali and Indonesia, places they visit each year.
There's also a pointsettia tree, a Star Wars tree, a wilderness tree, one covered in hand-blown glass ornaments and another with figurines dressed in designer labels.
"You just have to see people when they come. Their eyes light up." - Tom Kereluk
In their basement, "where Christmas threw up," as Kereluk says, they have a full Christmas village on top of a hot tub.
They use their elaborate festive home to raise money for a local charity. They host an annual party for friends at Christmas, when Kereluk serves sweet and savoury cheesecakes, and hold prearranged tours with members of the public.
This year they've chosen the Central Alberta Humane Society and have already raised about $5,000.
"We make it bigger and bigger each year. You just have to see people when they come," Kereluk said. "Their eyes light up. There's more and more people that come through the house each year."
When the CBC's Lisa Robinson was visiting on the weekend, they had another tree in the garage waiting to be set up.
"Next year, there will be 100 trees in the house," Jackman told her.
"I think you're going to have to buy another house after that," Kereluk said jokingly.
If you're interested in helping the fundraiser and booking a tour, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Council committee votes to boost Calgary investment fund by $90M
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Canada's first black broadcaster dead at 85
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Landlord of evacuated apartment block calls collapse warning 'absolute lie'
With files from Lisa Robinson and the Calgary Eyeopener
Copyright 1996-2014 WestNet-HD Action News. A Division of WestNet Continental Broadcasting.