As the days shorten, and the draw of nighttime Christmas light displays at homes around Pictou County begins to entice admirers, Margie and Pedro Barreto become local sensations in their own right, for the Christmas displays they create every year, in their front yard.
Right up until the end of the Christmas season, 50 Veterans Drive in Pictou is alight and adorned like a true winter wonderland – this year’s display, weather permitting, will be lighting up tomorrow evening.
“There’s really not much to it,” said Margie, taking a break from setting up her yard to chat with The News about the process of decorating her home for Christmas, “but everything has lights.”
The display features an assortment of Christmas trees, and characters – such as snowmen, penguins, Santa Claus and his reindeer. Giant wreaths adorn walls, and cutouts and blow-ups add to the effect. The gazebo in their yard is converted, with lights and props into an elabourate manger scene.
When it is complete, the display dominates the entirety of the Barreto’ front yard. Fences are adorned with candy canes; no tree is without lights; presents and glowing imitation trees fill the yard and every square foot of the property is converted into a shining display of Christmas cheer.
“It’s time-consuming, but it’s for the kids – it’s always for the kids,” said Margie, who added that her six-year old granddaughter “goes ballistic” over the display, when it lights up on the first day of December.
Sometimes, the theme of the display can change, Margie noted, adding that for a while, she and Pedro would arrange lights on their roof to create a “landing strip” for Santa Claus, “but now, we have a tree up there, with Santa Claus and angels.”
Margie said much of the effort setting up the display consists of replacing burnt out lights on the many cords of coloured lights, “so each year, we go through the motions of having to replace some of them. A lot of those lights are old, and there are thousands of them.”
Despite the tedious light maintenance, Margie said the end result is always worth the trouble, especially once those lights adorn the many decorations that are on display in the Barretos’ yard.
“Pictures don’t do it any justice. I have a Canon camera, and I’ve taken pictures with it, and it’s a good camera, but even it doesn’t do it any justice,” said Margie. “You have to be there to see it.”