Community gives back to Mr. Christmas to brighten holidays

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. — For “Mr. Christmas,” Dave Plourde, there is no such thing as “too many lights,” especially if it brings a smile to people’s faces.

“What can I do here to make more people smile? And it was all history from there,” Plourde said. 

For 15-plus years, Plourde has set up and added to his elaborate light display. His house alone attracts thousands to the neighborhood. 

This year Plourde and his wife, Sandy, had every intention to not follow the tradition after the recent passing of their granddaughter. 

“I wasn’t going to do this because it hurts so much, but I couldn’t let the community down,” Plourde said.

Eventually, they agreed to go through with their annual display.

“This was her favorite time of year so we’re just kinda trying to keep her memory close,” Sandy said.

Neighbors, like Nate Bywater, helped put everything up and plan on taking it down – something they’ve done for about three years. 

“It’s a joyful time of year, that’s what Christmas is about and, you know, there is no better way than something like this,” Bywater said. 

The help didn’t stop there, neighbors also created a GoFundMe to support the couple.

“We knew that they were already struggling and that a funeral and everything that goes on with a funeral was not going to be in their wheelhouse financially. So, after talking with some of the neighbors, we decided to put something together to try and help them,” Bywater added. 

After Thanksgiving day, the whole neighborhood transforms into a holiday wonderland with its own elaborate displays. 

While this year has not been easy, Plourde and his wife say the cheer and joy those twinkling lights bring makes it all worth it.