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Christmas spirit shines bright in Black Duck Cove

The home of Sandy and Mary Francis always attracts a lot of attention this time of year thanks to their Christmas light display.
The home of Sandy and Mary Francis always attracts a lot of attention this time of year thanks to their Christmas light display.

Santa will have no trouble finding the home of Sandy and Mary Francis of Black Duck Cove.

The couple can spend anywhere from five to eight weeks completing their Christmas light display, which contains approximately 50,000 lights.  
“Every since I met him and we moved here, I used to say…one of those years I’m gonna have her lit right up,” said Mary.  
“And he said ‘yes one of those years dear we’ll get her lit up…and we started.”
The couple’s collection now takes up three sheds, and they are not done yet, they are always on the lookout for something unique to their display.
They normally start putting things in place after Remembrance Day and leave it up until the first week of January.

The couple can spend anywhere from five to eight weeks completing their Christmas light display, which contains approximately 50,000 lights.  
“Every since I met him and we moved here, I used to say…one of those years I’m gonna have her lit right up,” said Mary.  
“And he said ‘yes one of those years dear we’ll get her lit up…and we started.”
The couple’s collection now takes up three sheds, and they are not done yet, they are always on the lookout for something unique to their display.
They normally start putting things in place after Remembrance Day and leave it up until the first week of January.

Sandy and Mary Francis in front of part of their display just as the snow started falling.

All eyes are on the couples home this time of year as residents of Burin and surrounding areas eagerly await the lighting of the couples Christmas light display.
“I went to Marystown one day and this women looked at me she said, ‘You’re the women who has all the lights up in Black Duck Cove aren’t ya?’ I said, ‘Yup,’” explained Mary.  
“She said, ‘Would you do me a favor when you’re lighting it up can you post it on Facebook so we know it’s going to be lit up?’”
Mary said they lit their display the Saturday following the lighting of the tree at the Burin town hall on Dec 1.
“I posted on Facebook for all those people that wanted me to put this on Facebook, I’m lighting up my house tonight so you’re welcome to come by and see it — it just went wild,” she said. “The road was covered, people were waiting for on crowd to leave for the other crowd to come.
“I said it’s amazing San, their out there, I said I bet you the town council didn’t have such a show up as we’re having tonight.”  
The Francis’ love the enjoyment their display brings to others year after year, noting that there is always someone passing by to have a look at the lights.
“It never stops here by’, you can’t go out on the step, you can’t even go out around the door there is always someone there,” said Sandy with a laugh, who came in from outside where he was preparing for a hunting trip the following morning.
“I was down around (back) putting the canon aboard  (and) I’d say there’s a half a dozen cars after coming and stopping right in the driveway.”
Their display started with a Merry Christmas sign built by Sandy, and over the years they have seen it grow piece by piece.
“My husband went down in the store — I was pregnant on my first one and he made the Merry Christmas sign — the one that’s on the fence,” Mary said. “Most of it is LED now but my Merry Christmas sign I keep him separate because he’s been in the family a long, long time.”
Mary added that her eldest sign is now 28-years-old.
When she was pregnant with her second child Chris, her husband and eldest son Scott constructed two stars.
“They made them for the second baby, and he’s 24 now, so they go back a long ways too,” she said.
Much of what the couple has on display around their home has been built from scratch and holds a special meaning to them.
“You want to keep the spirit of Christmas cause it’s gone,” said Mary. “Christmas is not the way it used to be nowhere, no one goes to visit anybody anymore.”
Mary explained that the images she has display on her fence as part of her Christmas display represent the dreams she had going to bed as a child on Christmas Eve.
“The candy canes, you went to church, that’s up there, (and) Santa Claus coming. All that was in your head when you were going to bed on Christmas Eve night when you were going to be wasn’t it, wondering what you were going to get from Santa Claus,” she said.
Mary said in the past the lights provided her with a sense of comfort.
“I find it company,” she said. “There was nobody here only me, when you look outdoors it was dark in the night time when you get up looking around, I used to find it dark but if I had a light to look at, everybody else’s light was (out), they were all gone to bed when I’d be up and when I’d go out an see those lights on me step I knew that I had company, the lights kept me company when everybody was gone.”
The couple said people are welcome to come by and view the display. They kept it lit until 10:30 p.m and all night long on Christmas Eve.
“Anyone that wants to come here, they come down and knocks on the door and asks can they go around and look,” she said. “We’ll show them where the plug ins are to.”  
Lesley Ann Lambe, who lives not far from the Francis’ home, said, “I think the lights are absolutely beautiful,”
She added, “Each year they add more to the display. My kids look forward to when Mr. Sandy and Mrs. Mary turn on their lights.
“I love seeing the houses decorated and this is one of my favorites.”
 
colin.farrell@tc.tc
@Colin_TCMedia

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