The team at MyLocalNews were saddened by the heartbreaking death of Dave Edwards, Croxley’s Mr Christmas, on the eve of his switch on.
Dave Edwards, who you may know as Mr Christmas, sadly passed away on Friday, November 13, after a battle with cancer.
Mr Christmas was famous for his spectacular Christmas lights on the Christmas House in Croxley Green, which he had put up every year for 42 years.
These displays delighted the village every year, with thousands usually in attendance to see the lights turn on and contribute to the charity funds which Dave raised every year for a chosen charity.
This year the switch on was livestreamed on Facebook due to COVID-19 restrictions.
His daughter Sharon Markham switched on the lights after giving a moving speech about her ‘hero’ and how honoured she is to be part of the Christmas family.
Sharon spoke to CroxleyNews about her father’s passing and the impact he had on the community.
She said: “I’m just broken. I just don’t know what else to say, I’m absolutely devastated.
“I hope that the lights are shining bright enough to see from heaven.”
Sharon said that the community have been wonderful over the past 42 years and have really stepped up in recent weeks to support the family.
Recently, a Christmas tree was donated to the house and decorated by hundreds of Croxley residents as a display of gratitude, love and support.
Sharon said: “We would like to thank everyone for all the cards, flowers and Christmas decorations put on the tree.
“People were queuing for three days to put decorations on the tree, it was quite touching.
“Dad knew they were out there doing that even though he couldn’t see the tree.”
Sharon also said that two weeks before the switch on event on November 14, the family got together to hold a ‘fake’ switch on to allow Mr Christmas to see the lights switch on one last time.
She said: “We had a fake switch on two weeks beforehand as we didn’t know how he was going to be, whether he would be well enough. He wanted to be able to switch the lights on.
“At least he got to do it and at least he got to see the lights for the last time as well.”
In the days following his passing, his efforts and spectacular light displays were covered by national publications such as the BBC, The Daily Mail and Metro, which Sharon said he would have absolutely loved to have seen.
She said: “He would have been tickled pink, he would have loved it, he wouldn’t have stopped talking about this.
“It’s a shame that he isn’t here to see the effect he has had on people.
“We really want to thank everyone for all their support, dad wanted to get that out in the press more.”
In addition to tributes in the national press, the local community have stepped in to aid fundraising efforts which this year is going to the family’s chosen charity the Peace Hospice.
Sophie Wilson, a friend of Sharon’s and a photographer is offering five professional photos taken of your family for £25, with 100 per cent of the money going to the fundraising effort.
She said: “I personally think if this year the most money was ever raised, I think it would be a lovely tribute to Dave but also I think it may bring some comfort, it’s not going to make things better but may bring some comfort.”
Details of how to donate to the family’s fundraising efforts for the Peace Hospice can be found on the Mr Christmas fundraising lights Lancing Way Croxley Green Facebook group.
Amber Clarke and her family have also started a raffle and set up a GoFundMe page to support the Christmas family.
She said: “They as a family have supported so many people over the years, we just thought it would be nice to try and support them back.”