Christmas display a rewarding experience

By Adam Sawatsky

We notice Santa’s derriere up there first. Our random search for a story for the bottom of the newscast has lead us to Mr. Clause attempting to climb-up a roof towards a chimney. Although Margaret says you can see the bright red, wooden cut-out from blocks away, what she looks at most is her holiday hippo.

“I want a hippopotamus for Christmas” she begins singing. When I wonder why, she responds with a shrug, “That’s just me. I’m goofy.”

Santa and the hippo are part of a herd of 90 eclectic characters that Margaret has hand-made to fill her small front yard on Alan Road. The videographer captures images of them all cavorting — Mickey and Sylvester, Tweety and Rudolph, Piglet and Frosty. There’s also a sign that says ‘Season’s Greetings from the Kids at Heart’. Margaret and her partner start setting up their seasonal display in mid-November. “It’s quite a production and it might be our last.” Every year she says that because of the cost, the time, and the discomfort. Her fingers don’t work anymore because of a surgery gone wrong.

It left her unable to do the job she’d once lived for. After 25 years of teaching children with special needs, Margaret found herself emotionally devastated and in chronic pain. But she endures doing the display, because of the smiles of the kids who keep coming back every holiday.

“I miss the kids. This is my gift to them.” She calls it a ‘thank you’ for all the joy they gave her. What Margaret wasn’t expecting was the gift she ends up receiving: “It alleviates my pain.” It felt so good that she slowly started sewing Christmas themed baby blankets and fabric books, which she donates to local charities.

“I just really believe that we should not be takers, we should be givers.” Although when I ask if there‘s one thing she would accept for herself, Margaret continues singing that song with a smile “Only a hippopotamus will do!”

— Adam Sawatsky is an Anchor/Reporter at CTV News Vancouver Island.

Just Posted

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

UVic art display showcases craft of bookmaking

Art of the Book 2018 is in the Audain Gallery at UVic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Aug. 11

Celebrate local food with Feast of Fields in North Saanich

21st Feast of Fields on Vancouver Island is at Kildara Farms on Aug. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.

RIFFLANDIA: Local artists thrive under festival model

Bands like Current Swell, one of the 2018 headliners, made their mark at RAP

Baseball’s HarbourCats wind up WCL season with loss to Pickles

Victoria needed a win to make the league playoffs, now looks ahead to 2019

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

REVIEW: Ever wanted to be young again? Theatre Skam’s Concord Floral will make you think again

Strong acting in an interesting theatre space, writes Sheila Martindale

Brad Pitt says he has given Jolie Pitt millions since split

Actor Brad Pitt denies Angelina Jolie Pitt’s claim that he has paid no meaningful child support.

WINE LOVERS UNITE: Victoria festival offers numerous tasting options

Parkside Hotel and Spa hosting Victoria International Wine Festival

Farquhar Auditorium updates image for 40th season

The Farquhar at UVic ushers in new season Sept. 22

THEATRE SKAM: Young cast brings Concord Floral to life in vacant downtown retail space

Former office supply store a unique venue for telling mysterious tale of youth with secrets

Schedule released for world junior hockey championship in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria ready to host, as Canada conducts training camp in Kamloops

Five things to do this B.C. Day long weekend

Check out these great community events in Greater Victoria

5 things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Check out dragon Boats, artists, football and more

Most Read