Neil Salmond hangs decorations in his front yard

Neil Salmond hangs decorations in his front yard

Big and bold, Christmas returns to Tuxedo Drive

Beloved display lights up Saanich neighbourhood after a year hiatus

Christmas on Tuxedo Avenue just isn’t complete without the over-the-top colourful outdoor display at the Salmond house.

When a health scare in 2012 forced Neil Salmond to slow his lifestyle down, it also forced him to cancel last year’s display.

“I had a cardiac event. I was very lucky. I didn’t even really know it happened,” he said. “They put you on medications but they have some different side effects which really take the stuffing out of you. … So by the time it was coming to Christmas (2012) I just didn’t have the energy to do the Christmas display.”

He says neighbours and Greater Victoria residents took note that after 21 years straight, their massive display was missing.

“We felt bad because a lot of people were still coming by looking for it,” he said. “We were walking one day and a lady didn’t who were are asked, ‘Do you know where the Christmas display is? I sure hope everything’s okay.’”

If there’s one thing the health scare did, it highlighted the brevity of life. “We should live life to the fullest and appreciate every day that we have,” he said.

And for the Salmonds, living life to the fullest means getting pure joy out of seeing the smiles of the 20,000-plus visitors at their annual Christmas display.

This year it’s back in a slightly smaller, but just as impressive, scale, to see how much Neil can do while his medication continues to slow him down.

Neil and his wife Michelle have spent the last month hanging and setting up hundreds of decorations and lights. Among them are a 25-foot-tall inflatable elf and a 25-foot-tall inflatable nutcracker – both of which tower over the Salmond home.

“Our garage is full (of Christmas decorations), we have four sheds full, and a section in a warehouse, which filled a five-ton truck to bring in here,” Neil said.

The Christmas display runs nightly until Jan. 2 at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. The Salmonds turn the lights on around 5:30 p.m.

“Why do we do it? It just makes a lot of people happy, and it’s something to give back to Victoria. It’s just a sea of people out there and we love to see all the smiles.”

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

(Black Press Media file photo)
Trees Cannabis to reignite downtown Victoria location as licensed store

The dispensary will reopen its 230 Cook St. location on Saturday

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Sergeant Francis Dion with the box containing HMCS Calgary’s new secret mascot costume. (HMCSNCSMCalgary/Facebook)
Don Devenney is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Community Builder of the year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore volunteer’s efforts an exercise in adventurous pursuits

Don Devenney is the 2021 recipient of the Community Builder Award

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read