In Memory of The Man Who Loved Christmas



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.

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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 2015



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.



Perry 2016







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


About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

7 responses »

  1. I know how you feel. Recently, I lost my own husband Don. Time doesn’t heal all wounds; it just makes them a bit easier to bear. Hugs from me.

  2. Thanks for sharing this Linda. I am SO many fond memories of both you and Angelo back in the day on Rideau Street at Physical Limits and Flash Cadillac. Both of you unique, kind wonderful people.
    There is no question in my mind your sons are a mixture of all that wonderful! Love you and thinking of you and dear Angelo today. Brought tears to my eyes reading and watching this post!

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