Couple spend eight weeks and £5,000 on their outdoor Christmas lights

Couple spend eight weeks and £5,000 on their outdoor Christmas lights

Cheryl and Neil Kelly have been putting on a huge Christmas display for the last 26 years but they wanted to make 2020 extra special.

In a bid to cheer up the community in Woolwich, London, where they live they turned their front garden into a festive masterpiece, complete with its own winter wonderland and a life-size Santa Claus – all of which took eight weeks to assemble.

Up on the roof, are lit-up reindeer and sleigh with Father Christmas at the helm, as well as a huge snowman figure, a large Santa head and colourful lights on the windows.

The exterior walls of the house are also covered in lit-up pictures including a large colourful bauble, a sleigh pulled by reindeers and a shooting star.

People who live nearby even donate old decorations and Neil fixes them up and puts them to use.

It started when their daughter Fay Lindsay, now 31, was a child, with a handful of festive trinkets in the windows – but over the years, the collection grew.

Neil was inspired by American Christmas films, adding more and more decorations.

‘My dad really wanted to make it special for the community as this year has not been great due to Covid,’ full-time carer Fay said.

‘It’s lovely to see how excited all the children have been to see the house.

‘Our neighbours love it and people who grew up in the area now bring their children to see the house too.’

They start the work eight weeks before Christmas to get everything ready for the big day.

Fay added: ‘He gets a lot of people complimenting his dedication to do it every year.

‘Neighbours and people in the community are always bringing him broken decorations because they know he will be able to fix them and add them to the display.

‘I’m so proud of how hard he works every year to make it magical for us all.

‘He uses all his spare time working on the house – I help him each year while my mum keeps us warm with tea and bacon sandwiches.

‘We love Christmas as a family and always spend it at my parents’ home because it’s so festive.

‘It doesn’t feel like Christmas until we have all the decorations up.’

The festive fun comes with a hefty price tag though, with the family’s monthly electric bill costing £100 more than usual – and they have spent around £5,000 on decorations.

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