Carrie Swartz is pretty sure her grandfather would approve of her annual Christmas light display.
As a child, she remembers being dazzled by the many lights the late Murray Morrison would string at his Burnaby home.
“He would do the stairs and every single window,” Swartz recalled.
Grandfather Morrison would especially appreciate the low-drain LED lights that his granddaughter now uses, because the combination of the many incandescent Christmas lights and cooking on Christmas and Boxing day back then made power outages a regular occurrence.
“He would have loved them,” Swartz laughed.
“There’s hardly any power.”
She estimates her entire “let it snow” display, some 20,000 lights, adds about $50 to her monthly power bill.
Swartz also credits her grandmother, Louise, who was skilled at crafts, as an inspiration.
“I’ve always been crafty.”
For over a decade, the Langley resident has been staging elaborate tributes to the holiday at her Langley City home at 19646 49th Avenue.
“Let it Snow” is on every night until 11:00 pm until January 4th, with a start time around 6 p.m. that varies depending on when she gets home from her parts manager job in Surrey.
“It [the display] started out small,” she remarked.
“It just sort of happened.”
Now, there are people who make a regular trip to her house to see the lights every Christmas.
One devoted fan comes all the way in from Richmond.
“He comes every year,” said Swartz.
This year, the fan was the one who suggested she add “Amazing Grace,” to the songs that are playing while the lights flash, as an appropriate choice for 2020.
One tune that is always on the playlist is the Snoopy Christmas song, with it’s chorus: “Christmas bells those Christmas bells/Ring out from the land. Bringing peace to all the world/And good will to man. “
Swartz normally begins putting her lights up after Halloween, devoting a few hours every day to the task, “and go gung-ho on the weekends.”
Swartz does “95 per cent” of it by herself.
“I find it really relaxing.”
Every year, she switches things up, retiring some decorations and introducing new elements.
This year, she added a sleigh with a horse, some glittering balls of light and a let-it-snow rollout sign.
One quirk she has discovered about LED lights is the difficulty getting them to shine as brightly in photos as they are on her house and front yard.
“The pictures don’t do it justice,” she has discovered.
So, if you want to see how good the display really looks, you are invited to drive by.
“I just want people to enjoy it,” Swartz told the Langley Advance Times.
Once the Christmas holiday is over, some of the holiday-themed lights will come down and the music will be turned off, but many will remain up as a winter light celebration, featuring white blue and green “Canucks” colours Swartz said.