To do­nate to the Christ­mas Fund, go to times­colonist.com/do­nate.

Times Colonist - - Front Page - CARLA WIL­SON

Don Moore has pulled out his en­tire col­lec­tion of hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions — in­clud­ing retro items that have never been shown be­fore — for his fi­nal year of Christ­masland.

Putting up the thou­sands of lights and hol­i­day-themed items is a “thing of love,” he said.

In 1985, Moore be­gan light­ing up his base­ment at 4000 Cen­tury Rd. in Saanich for fam­ily and friends to view. One of his sons had a vis­ual im­pair­ment and as a baby loved the lights.

In 2007, his three sons urged him to open the house to the pub­lic and col­lect do­na­tions for char­ity. He took a break in 2015 and re­turned in 2016.

He fig­ures that the to­tal col­lected for good causes over the years is about $15,000, in­clud­ing food do­na­tions for the Mus­tard Seed Street Church and Food Bank. Last year, he toted nine bags of gro­ceries to the food bank.

The Times Colonist Christ­mas Fund is the other char­ity he is sup­port­ing this year.

Moore, 65, a re­tired mail car­rier, and neigh­bour Pat But­ler started putting up the dis­play in Septem­ber. “We do a lit­tle bit ev­ery day.”

Three rooms are packed with a va­ri­ety of hol­i­day items and ev­ery wall is cov­ered with fes­tive wrap­ping pa­per.

“My favourite is my main vil­lage,” he said. “I try to change it ev­ery year.”

The ex­te­rior of the house is dec­o­rated, but four base­ment rooms are the high­light. That’s where vis­i­tors are en­tranced by more than 10,000 lights, 23 nativity sets, a snow­man col­lec­tion, at least 20 San­tas, an Elvis vil­lage (with a singing Elvis) and more. New this year is a singing flamingo.

And in the days of LED lights, the elec­tric­ity bill is fairly mod­est — only about $100 to $150 higher than in a typ­i­cal month, Moore said.

Moore is happy to col­lect do­na­tions for good causes. “There are a lot of peo­ple who do need help all through the year.”

Born in Wil­liams Lake, Moore, one of 12 chil­dren, re­mem­bers happy Christ­mases even though the fam­ily didn’t have a lot.

He cred­its his mother with en­sur­ing Christ­mas was spe­cial ev­ery year.

Each child had a gift un­der the tree and his mother baked favourite treats.

But it’s a lot of work to stage Christ­masland, and Moore said it is time to take a break. “It has been a lot of fun.” He’s not dis­pos­ing of any hol­i­day dis­plays just yet, say­ing with a laugh he might get “itchy” to put up the dis­play again in com­ing years.

Christ­masland times and dates:

• Dec. 8, 15, 22 and 23: from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• Dec. 9 and 16: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Please do­nate to the Times Colonist Christ­mas Fund. The fund as­sists in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in need dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son. Here are ways to do­nate:

• Go to times­colonist.com/do­nate. That takes you to the Canada Helps web­site, which is open 24 hours a day and pro­vides an im­me­di­ate tax re­ceipt.

• Mail a cheque, payable to the Times Colonist Christ­mas Fund So­ci­ety, to the Times Colonist Christ­mas Fund, 2621 Dou­glas St., Vic­to­ria, B.C. V8T 4M2.

• Use your credit card by phon­ing 250-995-4438 be­tween 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Mon­day through Fri­day. Out­side those hours, mes­sages will be ac­cepted.

Don Moore is sur­rounded by hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions at Christ­masland in his Saanich home.

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