© Jocelyn Turner - Amherst Daily News
Phil Baxter (left) and his wife Barbara will be holding a charity Christmas village display on Nov. 30 in Truemanville, something Barbara’s father started back in 2003. The pair will be collecting donations, which will go to the Sunrise Trinity United Church.
TRUEMANVILLE – Santa and his reindeer, Fezziwig’s Christmas party and carolers will be just some of the many characters on display at the Baxter home on Nov. 30 for their charity Christmas village display.
The idea originally started with Ken Sisson when he began crafting different Christmas village pieces back in the 1950s. It was a hobby he started adding to, and then moved on to showing as fundraiser in 2003.
“He didn’t do it every year,” said Barbara Baxter about her father’s display. “There’s also a Halloween display, which is huge. One year he’d do Halloween, one year he’d do Christmas and there were some years when he would do one of each. He had a costume, which my husband now wears. For Halloween, he has a wizards costume and for Christmas, he’d dress as Charles Dickens.”
When her father used to hold the Christmas display, it drew in many people. Because of it’s past popularity, the couple decided to bring it back.
The display is two levels, the first in the Cloud House, a sitting room featuring some of the hand-crafted pieces Sisson helped create. The second level is in the garage, where guests can see an even larger display of over 70 pieces.
“As far as we can figure out, Ken started this in about 1997,” said Baxter’s husband Phil about the second level of the display. “Of course, we’ve added a few things.”
The Baxters still have a few more pieces that they have to finish adding to the display and take down the Halloween display. Baxter’s husband said he has about a day’s worth of work left to do in order to have it ready for visitors.
Baxter said she’s sure her father would be pleased with his family carrying on the Christmas display tradition.
“He was very much into doing things for the community,” she said. “He’d be happy to know we’re doing it.”
The Baxters will be collecting donations, which they will donate to the Sunrise Trinity United Church. They will also have Christmas stories for visiting children and will be offering refreshments after the tours.
The Baxters’ home is located on Highway 6 towards Truemanville. The display will be open to the public from 1 to 8:30 p.m.