Decorating the family Christmas tree is a chore for some, and a tradition for others, but for one Red Deer family, it’s a time to give back to furry animals.
Red Deer’s Vince Jackman and Tom Kereluk have decorated 105 Christmas trees this season, increasing the number from last year’s 86.
“We just thought we could go bigger than last year, and after the news story, we had people who contacted us saying ‘I’ve got trees that I’m not using,’” said Jackman.
The tradition has been going on at their house for several years.
Their Comfort Close home in Clearview was filled with hundreds of family members and friends Saturday at their annual Christmas party. The animal lovers ask for Christmas donations for the Central Alberta Humane Society instead of presents. This year, the couple raised about $3,000, including cash and gift donations.
But that might not be the final amount.
The duo is hosting a public open house this Saturday, so people can check out their tree-filled house and make a donation.
“Anybody who wants to see and bring a donation to the humane sociey, we will open the house from 12 to 4 p.m.,” said Jackman, who is vice-chair at the Central Alberta Humane Society.
Last year, the couple had people outside of the city stop by to check out the house.
“We had people from Calgary that had come down – just to come to the house,” said Jackman.
The party this year – Sofia’s Night of 105 Trees – was dedicated to the couple’s chihuahua Sofia, which died last year around Christmas.
One corner of the house was dedicated to “Sofia trees” this year.
“We have three trees of Sofia, so it’s decorated with little pictures of her,” said Jackman.
Helping animals is an important cause for the couple. Kereluk noted there are other rescue dogs in the house: “it’s a cause in our hearts – adopting animals from the humane society or any shelter out there.”
Every room in the couple’s house is adorned with trees, including the bathrooms, the kitchen and the basement. There are a variety of tree sizes, from table-top trees to a 15-foot specimen in the living room.
This year’s themes include a Gay Pride tree, Disney tree, designer tree and Las Vegas-themed trees.
New decorations include Harry Potter, Darth Vader and an umbre-butterfly themed tree.
Contact the couple at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to check out their trees.