While many Airdrie residents have begun to string up Christmas lights and set up festive holiday decorations on their lawns, one Airdrie home in the Stonegate neighbourhood has gone one cheery step further.
Kim Lovelace has utilized the fence surrounding her home as a Christmas canvas where anyone and everyone can come by - take a selfie or even a family holiday photo for free. Lovelace explained that the idea for the Christmas Canvas backdrop was something she had already been planning in October after her Stonegate Jack O'Lantern Jamboree was a smashing success.
"When Christmas came along, I thought let's do this again. The backdrops have a dual purpose - they are decor, [but] it allows people to come and take pictures of their loved ones or themselves or whatever they want in front of these backdrops," she said. "It gives us a good sense of community and it makes people happy."
Many curious onlookers and neighbours have already noticed the elaborate display Lovelace has put up; and Lovelace says the community's response has been nothing if not jolly.
"I've received a lot of questions; lots of people came by and were complimenting how well they thought it looked. I've seen quite a few people out there taking pictures in front of it."
Lovelace underlined that she isn't quite done with the backdrops and added that there are a few more finishing touches she has yet to add in the coming days and weeks. When asked if she's worried about potential theft or vandalism of the backdrops and decor, Lovelace said it's not something she considered.
"It's just such a friendly community that it hasn't occurred to me at all in any way shape, or form. If it does [happen], it does. We'll just learn our lesson and we'll put those things out again and stick with the things that are attached that can't be removed."
Thinking back on Christmases past and one of her own most cherished memories, Lovelace remembers a Christmas in which her childhood home was burned down in Ontario and when the community rallied behind her family.
"It was in the middle of winter and all the neighbouring communities got together and came and paid [the] first and last month for a house and in a neighbouring town and they filled it full of everything you could possibly need: furniture, food, clothing, everything - and that was right around Christmas time," she said. "But we've been in Airdrie 19 years now and we just love it. If you ever have to go anywhere, people are just friendly everywhere you go."
Now, she is determined to give back when she and where she can.
"We're pretty lucky; we have everything we need and some of the extras," Lovelace said. "[In] any way that I can give back, even in a small way, I'm very, very happy to do it. It doesn't take much to make other people happy and see them smile. It's a very small thing that we're doing, but the response we've gotten - It's tremendous. It's It's heartwarming. It makes me happy to make other people happy."
She said everyone is welcome to come take photos at 164 Stonegate Crescent Northwest, reminding those who wish to come that there is an alleyway in the area, and she asked that photographers be vigilant of cars.
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