By Joanne Hagen
Christmas is a time of great celebration, gift-giving, fine food, and yuletide cheer. Most spend several weeks and lots of money in preparation of the Holiday season, but for others, Christmas is a source of stress and financial hardship. For those living on limited incomes, struggling to make ends meet month to month, Christmas can feel more like punishment than pleasure.
So when Doug Ruel turns his property into a winter wonderland and collects food and donations for the Alberta Food Bank, he is giving to both donor and donee. Now that’s Christmas spirit!
Hundreds of lights create a glow over Ruel’s property so that those who drive out will see it long before they arrive. Reindeer, sleighs, giant snowmen, Santa, and a huge nativity scene are just a sampling of the spectacular scenery.
When asked how long it takes to set up, Doug said, "About two weeks. A lot of the lights stay up all year." He keeps the display up from December 1st through to the 31st.
Doug has a heated box set up for food or cash donations for the Food Bank. People bring donations and stay to walk the decorative grounds. Every year Doug adds more pieces to the display.
Directions to Doug’s from Leduc – go west 5 kilometres to Range Road 260, turn south for 5 kilometres until you reach township 492, you will see it from there. If you are travelling Glen Park Road, turn north on Range Road 260 for about 2 miles, you can’t miss it!