The spirit of the season shines through in the brilliant Christmas display at 20 Bow Point, the home of Steve and Stella Fonnyadt. Its creation is an all-out family effort that topped the polls for Cochrane in the Christmas Decorating Contest sponsored by local MP Blake Richards. Richards staged the contest to help brighten the low key Christmas season. Four winners were declared across his constituency, based upon popular vote. The winners will each receive a locally-purchased gift. A shortlist of 10 homes in Cochrane as well as Airdrie, Bow Valley, and Crossfield were provided for voters to chose from, and Richards says hundreds of votes were received. “Thank you again to everyone who entered and voted In the contest,” says Richards on his Facebook page. “We have some great Christmas displays in our community!” Emily Gordon, the Fonnyadt’s daughter, says decorating the home is a multi-generational effort that is completed well in advance of Christmas. “It’s definitely a family effort. Generally, we take one weekend in October and all my sisters and all of our spouses come out. There are about 10 of us every year, and we start going from there. We have a few people who do the roof, a few people that do the ground stuff, and my mom usually makes lunch and everything for everyone to keep us fuelled so we can get it all done in a weekend.” She says it’s not just for them. It’s meant for the whole community to enjoy. “Every year we build on it, whether it’s just something small or we just like to change things out. We see so many other people around town, too, and they kind of inspire us. If we see things that intrigue us or inspire us, we like to try to do something similar to pay a little homage to everyone else in town as well.” She says they had a fire pit out front during Light Up and many of the people who passed by rolled down their window to thank everyone for doing the lights. Gordon says her mom, Stella has sent out a group text to all those who helped and to share the good news. There are definitely changes from last year’s display, but the one that stands out, in particular, is the brightly-lit “DITTO” sign that points at the house from the side. Gordon says it was created by their neighbour who wanted to contribute a humourous touch to the display. “This year, he went all out to make the sign. It’s really sturdy and looks really great, and a lot of people we talked to laughed about it.” She says they are already talking about next year’s display, and she has an idea for a new addition. “I keep wanting to get going in the backyard, too. So we’ll see if I can get my ideas set in stone for next year,” she says with a giggle. “But we’ll see.” 20 Bow Point was also the top choice of Bill Hill Lodge residents in their 2019 Christmas decorating contest. Because of COVID-19, that event wasn’t held this year but is a long-time Christmas tradition of the lodge. Here’s a look at how it appeared last year. Other winners were: Airdrie – 19 Windcreek Terrace Bow Valley – 129 Rainbow Ave, Banff Crossfield – 1219 Limit Ave. In addition to the decorating contest, Richards’ office has been accepting food donations for food banks.