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