A Christmas-loving grandfather who came up with a magical lights display each year has passed away.
86-year-old Dave Edwards was a big fan of Christmas who always added more lights to his yearly display during the festive season.
By adding more lights to his masterplan every year, the British grandfather-of-two was able to convert his home into a magical wonderland.
Throughout the years, the kind man, who was dubbed Mr. Christmas, raised a good sum of money for charity by holding light shows at his home in Croxley Green, Watford.
Sadly, however, Mr. Edwards died of bowel cancer just one day before he was set to switch on this year’s display for the first time.
To honor the joyful grandfather, his 50-year-old daughter Sharon Markham decided to turn on the lights in his name – something Mr. Edwards made her promise she would do in case he passed away.
“It was a really difficult day. I was so numb and am in shock still which is probably what got me through it all,” Markham said.
“My dad was such an amazing man, the community has been devastated and the tributes that have been flooding in are just breath-taking.”
As Sharon explained, she was just 8 when her father started organizing annual Christmas displays at his home. Fortunately, his neighbors loved the idea and allowed it to become an event that would take place in the community every year.
“We had a nine-foot Christmas tree donated and people have been queuing for three days to hang ornaments on it – there’s been so many that we’ve had to decorate other trees on the lawn and hang some from above the driveway too,” the daughter added.
“Dad never got to see the tree but we did tell him about it and he said it was ‘marvelous’. He could hear people queuing outside so he still felt a part of it. I know how much this all would have meant to him. He really was a true hero.”
While Sharon admitted feeling embarrassed by huge Christmas displays as a teen, she eventually came to love her father’s tradition.
“It gets bigger and better every year. We usually have an amazing grotto in the garden, and we raise money for different charities – Dogs Trust, homeless shelters, food banks. We usually have about 2000 people coming out to see the lights,” the 50-year-old explained.
Sending prayers and words of support for Edwards’ family during these tough times. Rest in peace, Mr. Christmas.
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