Almost every family puts up a Christmas tree this time of the year, but one Red Deer family has taken tree decorating to a whole new level.
Red Deer’s Vince Jackman and Tom Kereluk have decorated 86 trees and counting.
The couple started with three or four Christmas trees about 13 years ago. Since then, they have added more trees every year, bringing the number up to 86 this year.
Last year, they put up 80 trees in their home on Comfort Close.
Every room in the couple’s house has a tree or five including the bathrooms, the kitchen and the basement. There are a variety of tree sizes and types of trees like a candy cane tree, a Halloween-themed tree, a tree with hand-made ornaments, a wilderness tree, an Asian-themed tree, a Gay pride tree, a tree with designer labels, a Star Wars-themed tree and a Disney- themed tree.
The couple also has travel trees from their trips, like two Las Vegas-themed trees, an Indonesian tree and an Ukrainian tree.
The trees are an attraction at the couple’s annual Christmas party — in the spirit of the holiday season and for the love of animals.
Instead of presents, the couple asks guests to bring donations to the party — both monetary or otherwise — to go towards the Central Alberta Humane Society where Jackman is vice-chair.
The Christmas parties are also known for unique sweet and savoury cheesecakes like turkey dinner, cheeseburger deluxe and scalloped potatoes.
“We want to create an event for people so they would show up and bring donations and enjoy the spirit of Christmas,” said Kereluk, explaining the Christmas trees and cheesecakes draws people in.
Last year, the duo raised close to $2,500 in cash and donations for the shelter. This year, with their Saturday Christmas party, they raised more than $5,000.
Jackman said over the years the parties have gained popularity and every year people wait for their invitations. The credit goes to the decorated trees, the Christmas Village in the couple’s basement and Kereluk’s creative cheesecakes.
This year, he made cabbage roll, kale and bacon, and Rice Krispies square cheesecakes.
When the couple first started throwing the Christmas parties, about 15-20 family and friends used to attend. Today, that number has shot up to about 100 guests including friends, family, co-workers and friends of friends.
“As long as they come with a donation to the Central Alberta Humane Society, they are more than welcome to come and explore the house,” said Jackman.
Contact the couple at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to check out their trees.