Holiday spirit lights up Wallace Drive home

Teen strings up nearly 18,000 lights on his family's Saanich property

Desmond Laitinen stands with some of the nearly 18

Desmond Laitinen stands with some of the nearly 18

Desmond Laitinen’s holiday spirit is on display for all the world to see.

A drive by the 14-year-old’s house can make one think they’ve reached the North Pole. Laitinen has strung up 17,998 lights including nine inflatable displays at his family’s home at 5699 Wallace Drive.

“I’ve just always loved Christmas. It’s always been a family tradition with all our lights. We started out small with just a couple strings of lights when we moved here and then every year bought something new and it just grew and grew,” said the Claremont student.

Laitinen said he has always helped his dad with the decorations, but this year with his dad away, he took on the chore himself.

Laitinen began the task of checking each of the 17,998 lights in September, and started stringing them up along the house and property on Nov. 8, working on it everyday after school.

“I got home around 4 p.m. and I went until maybe 10 p.m.”

And all that hard work has paid off with the admiring glances from the many motorists who pass by to see the spectacle.

“The Butchart Gardens bus comes by and stops. At night it looks pretty cool,” said Laitinen.