Donna Middlemiss loves Christmas and even these changing and challenging times can’t diminish her spirit.
“I do this every year,” said the Chemainus resident of her elaborate yard display of characters, lights and decorations. “I love the holidays. I’ve got stuff everywhere.”
Some of the stuff is carrying a different message this year due to the pandemic, with a ‘We’re All In This Together’ sign reflective of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Her Grinch figure in the front yard is even masked and has the message ‘Stay home’ on the one hand and ‘Happy holidays’ on the other.
Middlemiss knows it’s a very different Christmas this year, but she’s still doing her best to make the yuletide bright for herself, her family and others.
She was just as anxious as everyone else to start decorating earlier in November than usual, but always has her limits.
“I don’t do anything until after Remembrance Day,” Middlemiss confided. “I was champing at the bit this year.”
But she followed the usual process and put everything out in due course.
“I usually do the Grinch set-up or the Santa set-up,” Middlemiss indicated. “I thought I’d put out the whole works this time.”
She has a room packed with items and that’s especially pleasing for the grandchildren – aged two, three, five, six and 10 – to see it.
“I’ve got a music box there, too, so it plays to all the different music,” Middlemiss noted.
People walking by her house will get a special treat of tunes as well as a feast for the eyes.
Inside is much the same with decorations galore and a Santa figure watching over the living room.
Middlemiss is retired now so she concentrates on doing crafts and the grandkids.
“The kids love it,” she conceded.
Middlemiss utilized her artistic flair that includes a unique window display. She used a kids’ colouring book and projected a page onto a large piece of paper.
“Then I hand draw it and paint it,” Middlemiss explained.
The Mrs. Claus and other figurines in the yard are all her creations. “I’ve always been pretty good at drawing,” she conceded.
The snowman and candles were all acquired at a garage sale to complete the scene.
With all the brightness of her yard and house and the festive flair, Middlemiss is staying realistic about this holiday season.
“Even with the COVID thing, I was going to do a big family dinner,” she noted. “But I said, ‘no, we’d better just stay safe.’”