Christmas fairyland at The Beach is the work of one woman, Evelyn Roblin, with some help from a friend.
If you were sight-seeing this Christmas Season and you included Oak Lake, you might have noticed one yard that was particularly ornamented and brightly lit by night. Located on Elm Drive at Oak Lake Beach, Evelyn does her yard up in fine style every winter. And her deck is also adorned.
“Oh ya, I putter out there a lot,” says Evelyn, looking at her outdoor collection.
In 1987 the Roblins bought the place. But it wasn’t until 2001, when Evelyn retired, that she joined her husband at their lake cottage. Her husband has since passed away, but this cottage has become home for Evelyn, and with a propensity for decorating and crafting, she has been populating the yard with her collection, some of them her own creations, for years.
Inside her home, there’s more – much more.
“We were married in 1957. I just collected every year, one or two things. And I get a lot of gifts because people know I love it. I’ve been very fortunate.”
Asked if she has a favourite among the menagerie, she firmly says, “No,” adding, “I just love decorations.” They are all special to Evelyn.
Along with the standard Santa and the missus, a variety of Father Christmas ornaments abound, some along the lines of Father Frost or St. Nicholas – a Ukraine custom.
There are nativity sets and angels too. One room is devoted to the angel collection.
On Jan. 5 some of the in-house Christmas items have already been retired for the year, but a large Christmas town remains beautifully laid out on the kitchen cupboard counter.
Outdoors, the yard is alive with winter critters – snowmen, lights and such.
The yard will be transformed again in the spring when the snow goes. “I won’t redecorate now until spring,” she says. That’s when Evelyn brings out some animals and other items made of wood.
“I have a wood shop. I jigsaw and cut ornaments out and paint them - I’m not an artist,” she adds.
In the summer her veranda is where the coffee breaks are enjoyed, but in the winter, it’s filled with Christmas … galore.
Evelyn is quick to give credit to her next door neighbour, Don Crampaign who helps her with what seems like a mile of light strings. “I couldn’t do all this without him,” she said.
Roblin is one of many who make Oak Lake Beach their year-round home among the oaks.