This morning I found this picture of my late husband Angelo a few months before he died. Sick as a dog with cancer in 2013, he sat there and directed his troops (Perry and Steph) on how to get the job done.
Our front yard Christmas display at 77 Lake Ave East rivalled the decorating of Clark Griswold in the film Christmas Vacation. It was a giant tribute to Christmas that could be seen for miles. Even though Angelo’s health was quickly deteriorating, he still made sure the house was ready to go that final year.
I never understood why we owned half of the Carleton Place Canadian Tire Christmas light section–or the mountains of boxes of lights that were everywhere throughout the house. In fact the day I found 85 brand new boxes of lights hidden behind the couch in the study I think I looked something like this.
To be honest we had stopped decorating the interior of the house in a big way after the fire in 1995. Two years ago, I sucked my heart in and decorated every single room for the Carleton Place Hospital Foundation Christmas House Tour. Not everyone was behind my decision, but I had to make this effort in his memory. I knew that the house would never again display his talents and love for the season, and wanted to do it as a tribute for his love of Christmas.
For anyone that thought Ange just threw lights up every year, you would be wrong. Each display was well thought out, and every year he wanted the latest and greatest. Last week my son asked me what I thought his Dad would be up to this year if he was alive. I lowered my head and tried not to laugh as I knew we would be up to our necks in something that lit up or made noise. Our vestibule looked like the picture above for weeks on end and I finally tried my best to ignore it.
Now the only thing that is left from his last display is the star and lights around the upper level of the house. I cannot take them down, but yet I can’t seem to turn them on. The only time those lights were lit was Christmas Eve, his birthday and Father’s Day–now the bulbs have all burnt out. As for the interior, the only thing consistent is Angelo’s year round Christmas tree.
After the fire we all remembered the ravaged Christmas tree that stood in a corner, so instead, he put up a giant tree in the TV room and bought music boxes. That tree has stood there 365 days a year since December 1996 and will never ever come down.
Traditions do continue, and generations carry on, and I am proud to say that my youngest son Perry carries on his Dad’s love for Christmas–just not in this yard anymore, but at his own home. Stephanie made an official announcement on Facebook, so I guess writing it here isn’t letting the Christmas cat out of the bag. A lot of the lights being used on Perry’s display are from his Dad’s original collection.
“Our annual light show at our house has started and will continue to be on every night from 6:30pm – 9pm. This year my husband of course has outdone himself and added even more lights and decorations!
The address is 267 Stonewood Drive (off the Beckwith 9th line) in Carleton Place.”
May all your troubles soon be gone–the Seccaspina Christmas lights still keep shining on. Thanks Perry–your Dad has not set his course by passing ships, but by the brightness of each and every one of your twinkling Christmas lights.
Angelo and Axel 2012– In memory of them both.
Perry and Sophia 2015
Perry 2016– and so it began and like his Father things seemed to multiply.
Perry 2016– Sophia is the director now– and soon will be running her own show.
Christmas Lights 2012
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News