For 18 years, Dean Sims has turned his home into a spectacularly lit winter wonderland.
“My whole goal is to bring some joy and happiness to the world and our community,” Sims said.
Located on the corner of Agassiz and Centennial Avenues, Sims’ house is a symbol of holiday festivities. Lit-up deer graze in his front yard. A gingerbread man holds a candy cane on top of his roof. Blow-up decor gets cozy next to his hedge.
Throughout the season, buses from the local seniors’ home come to appreciate his creation, as do families with children.
“I don’t ask for donations for doing my display,” he explained, “I just want everyone to enjoy them. I love seeing kids, adults and all the seniors coming out to look at what I create.”
Sims works on his house throughout November, and it takes him about a month to put it all together.
“Lots of wiring to figure out, but it’s all worth it in the end,” he said.
The display is cathartic for him, he explained, as he deals with depression, anxiety and grand mal seizures. Working on the Christmas light display around his house helps him fight some of his health problems, he said.
Every year, more gets added to the display, either through donations from neighbours who have lights they no longer want, or from purchasing decorations at the Agassiz Thrift Store.
“My Santa and sleigh and reindeer on the roof is from a local family that have had it since the 1950s,” Sims said. “Their dad had painted it. But it was time to let it go, so they decided to give it to me.”
Sims expects he spends about $500 on new lights each year— and this year said the display is at least 40 per cent bigger than it was before.
Sims’ holiday display will be running from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day, weather depending, although he recommends stopping by when it’s completely dark.