There is a special Christmas village in Abbotsford, known as Sparkyville.
It’s hard to know how many shops, homes, and residents there are.
It stretches from one side of Johanna deJong’s living room to the other in her Matsqui Prairie home. Each corner and street is created over the course of two weeks, as the 94-year-old widow takes sets each piece out for display. There’s a hospital, a police station, even a frozen pond with children playing hockey.
There are carollers, a horse drawn carriage, and even a windmill.
Her daughter, Patricia, hauls them out of storage for her every year and enjoys watching the village come together.
“She really is such an inspiration,” she says of her mom, who has been collecting the pieces for more than 40 years. For the last 10 years, her husband Jack had lived with Alzheimer’s disease. DeJong has been raising funds for the Alzheimer Society of B.C., and part of that has been through her Christmas display.
Sparkyville got its name because Jack deJong was an electrician, Patricia explains.
There are even a few buildings with the family name on them, and many buildings with special memories or meaning.
In sharing their story this year, the deJongs are hoping to bring awareness to the Alzheimer Society of B.C., and encourage people to donate. For more information on the society, visit alzheimer.ca/bc.