A Langley neighbourhood has taken the tradition of putting Christmas lights to the next level, giving rise to a holiday-themed award-winning idea Santa Claus Lane.
An initiative of families living on 209A Street and 84th Avenue, this Langley neighbours’ project features 25 decorated homes with handmade ornaments, inflatables, LEDs, a Christmas tree, and even a customized welcome sign. With families working closely with each other, often helping neighbours with light installations, the street looks like one big light show.
The lane also features an elf workshop and a beaver in a lodge. The setup, which includes thousands of lights, digital displays, music, and more, was awarded the second-best Christmas street in Metro Vancouver by CBC in 2021.
Conceptualized two years ago to spread positivity during COVID, Santa Claus Lane is adding a new fundraising element to the project this year. The group is raising money for Make A Wish Canada – an organization supporting children with critical illnesses – through an online fundraiser, makeawishca.donordrive.com/participant/Santaclauslane209ehst.
Tania Dobin, one of the residents, said the fundraiser element is another opportunity for the neighbours to bring communities together and help people in need.
“Life can be very hard for some people, and this is our way to give back to the community and the kids… because every child deserves a wish to come true,” Dobin said.
Their goal for the first fundraiser is $2,500, but she noted the campaign would expand in the coming years.
“We are just getting started, and the economy has changed, making it harder for people to survive,” said Dobin.
She serves as the display coordinator and was among the first ones to pitch the idea of creating Santa Claus Lane to her neighbours.
A connected group of families or a “street family,” – as residents Melissa and Kevin Maslanka prefer to call it – not only celebrate Christmas together but also other events like Halloween. The residents even organize their own street crawl, spending about 20 minutes at each house for drinks and appetizers.
The Maslankas are known among the neighbours for their generous and encouraging attitude, often bringing ladders and tools to help others put up displays and lights.
“Celebrating and helping everyone has a been a great experience,” said Kevin.
He’s been nicknamed ‘Clark Griswold’ from the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation by his friends and neighbours.
“[Kevin] is always enthusiastic and making sure everyone has their lights up,” commented Dobin.
She welcomed everyone to walk or drive the lane to check out the decorations and help them raise money for Make A Wish Canada.
“Take a drive or an evening stroll to check out the beautifully lit trees, handmade decorations, and more. We invite you all to Santa Claus Lane,” she said.
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