Organizers Donna and Dennis Jones are back at it again this year with their delightful Christmas village display at Cassy’s Coffee House in Youbou.
“As we speak, we are unloading the truck full of pieces,” Donna said on the morning of Nov. 18. Once the truck was unloaded, she figured it would take about eight days at “about five or six hours a day” to complete the display.
The village used to be in the Jones’s home, but eventually the event outgrew the space.
“At Cassy’s I believe this would be year seven,” Donna noted. “We used to invite people over for a donation to the food bank. This way everyone can come and see.”
And this way, money can be raised for an important cause. Admission to this must-see event is by donation as the annual Christmas display serves as a fundraiser for cancer care in the Cowichan Valley.
“We give it to the hospital and we earmark it directly for comfort for cancer patients,” Donna explained. “It took us three years to raise enough, then they bought new two chairs for chemotherapy treatment.”
Last year they donated the money for a new IV pump.
Last year was a slower year, Donna admitted.
“Because of the post-COVID. I would say maybe up until then we were making a fair bit of money and probably having maybe 400-500 people come, but last year would have been more around 200. We didn’t make as much money. We’re kind of hoping this year with it will be a lot better.”
It’s worth the drive to see the tiny people to fully realized waterfront towns, tiny trains, a carousel, and little shops and houses galore.
Visit Cassy’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 1-4, Dec. 8-11, Dec. 15-18. Dec. 22-24 and Dec. 29-31 and to see it with your own eyes.
“This year there’s a magical outdoor display as well,” Donna said. “You may even see Santa and Mrs. Claus.”
What’s more, on Dec. 17 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., a special evening showing will include hot chocolate and a cookie for all.
While you’re there, poke around Cassy’s gift shop, which has it’s grand re-opening on Dec. 1, and find that perfect present for the special someone in your life.
The creation of Donna and Dennis Jones’s Christmas village began about 28 years ago when Donna’s parents sent her a small village for her birthday. There were two small houses and a church with people and trees.
The next Christmas Dennis gave her a replica of Charles Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop.
From there, the collection began to grow.
—With files from Lexi Bainas