A strange pirate ship sails in Saint Andrews

·3 min read

A pirate gingerbread house and a house that lit up the town won Saint Andrews Christmas contests this week.

Eileen Campbell, the winner of this year's Light Up the Town competition, said she has so many ornaments and lights that her electrician said her breakers couldn't handle any more output.

"We had to change it around a couple of times this year already, because we kept blowing breakers."

Every year, Campbell and her husband, Lindsay, will go to the mall and buy Christmas decorations. In October, it shows.

The Campbell's yard is filled with Christmas decorations, from an entire manger scene to Santa and his sleigh, reindeer included.

"It's nice to be able to give people something, this time of year, especially this year, with COVID-19 that brings a little brightness and cheer in their life."

Campbell said she's been collecting holiday ornaments for at least 15 years. After a six or seven-year break from the decorated house (the couple had been travelling south for the holidays), the house has returned in full force.

Campbell said it takes a month to put up all the decorations, with help from her husband's son Mike Campbell. The inside of the house is just as decorated.

In addition, to the town's Christmas committee's Light Up the Town competition, Saint Andrews's Christmas committee hosted an Adorn Your Door competition and the Leatherhouse organized the gingerbread house competition, said Saint Andrews Chamber of Commerce president, Katy MacDonald. The winners were announced on Dec. 12.

She said it hasn't been a normal year for Christmas activities, but she was happy these events could be held following COVID-19 guidelines.

"I'm surprised how much joy it did bring to people and I think we as a community didn't realize how much we needed a spark of joy."

Natasha Smith and Christine Corbett won the professional category of the gingerbread house competition. Their take on the competition was more seaworthy than others. It's a Christmas pirate ship.

"You have an idea, but they take on their own life," said Smith.

Both have backgrounds in professional cooking, Smith is a sous chef at the Rossmount Inn and Corbett was a pastry chef.

Together, they made a Christmas pirate ship, where each of the elves on board had their own stories.

One is stuffing himself with candy while the other is scolding him. Another is feeding the kraken below with a marshmallow.

Another is filling the cannon while another looks through a spyglass to the sea. Captain Kringle is at the wheel with a puffin, while Mrs. Claus is the figurehead on the front of the ship. Each character was made from scratch from gum paste.

The women say the whole ship is edible – although it may not be palatable. They said they had to forgo flavour for a solid structure.

Still, the ship, called the Jolly Elf, lights up.

"We had a lot of fun. We spent a lot of hours laughing," said Smith.

The Jolly Elf can be viewed in the window of Honeybeans Cafe until Dec. 24.

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada.

Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal