Shawn Canil, a Cloverdale-area resident, turns heads with the truck he’s decorated for Christmas. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Shawn Canil, a Cloverdale-area resident, turns heads with the truck he’s decorated for Christmas. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Truck’s Christmas decorations lift spirits on Cloverdale man’s commute

‘When I see them smiling, I know it’s worth it,’ pickup driver Shawn Canil says

Maybe you’ve seen Shawn Canil’s Christmas-themed pickup truck as he commutes to Richmond. Maybe you’ve honked in appreciation, or pointed, smiled and waved.

Don’t worry, he sees ya.

The Cloverdale-area resident likes to decorate his black Toyota Tacoma for Halloween, and in November he upped his Christmas game with lit-up snowman, candy canes, elves and Santa figures attached to the truck bed, along with a “Ho Ho Ho” sign above the back window and a wreath on the front grill.

“I’ve put a little bit of Christmas stuff on before, but this year with all the shut-ins and the pandemic, it’s really tough on people,” Canil said.

“This is as much as I’ve done, this year, and I just put in a little more effort because of everything going on. Normally it’s just a sign stuck here or there. At this scale it’s the first time.”

Wherever he drives, the truck is an eye-magnet.

“Lots of honking and waving,” Canil noted. “The kids are always pointing at the truck, big smiles. When I see them smiling, I know it’s worth it, right.”

(Story continues below photo)

homelessphoto

PICTURED: Shawn Canil’s truck at night. (submitted photo)

Canil works for a box manufacturer in Richmond.

“I’ve always loved Christmas, and we have a new grandson so it’s more exciting than ever,” he explained.

“It was so dreary there in November, raining and cold, and hopefully this brightened the mood of people as we get into December here,” Canil said. “I’ve read some stuff on Facebook, and it brings me a lot of emotion just seeing how much it helps other people, makes them feel a bit better. I think my tear ducts are tied a little too strongly to my heart strings, I don’t know,” he added with a laugh.

On Facebook, Jen Katajamaki posted a photo of Canil’s truck on the “North Delta Community Corner” page late last month.

“To the guy who drives the lit up Christmas truck! I see you every morning on my way to work and I want to say thank you! It makes me smile every morning,” Katajamaki posted.

Others have chimed in.

“Wonderful to see individuals share and bring joy to others at any time!” added Erin Strauts.

“Love it!” posted Kerry Bibbs. “Good for him to bring a little cheer to these bleak days!”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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