They light up our life at Christmas
CHRISTMAS is a time for presents, family and houses decked out in lights.Down in the shire residents conntinue to outdo themselves with some creative decorations for their own place.
Whether it is a whole street decked out in lights — such as Allambie Avenue in Caringbah — or a single unit brightening up a block, along the Esplanade in Cronulla, residents love to inspire and entertain revellers who drive or walk by.
For the past three years, Rachel and David Letton of Loftus have taken been adding some cheer to their house.
Using more than 30,000 lights, the family does more than just decorate.
On Friday and Saturday nights throughout December, the family put on a Christmas show in their front yard, handing out glow sticks and lollies and using a snow machine.
‘‘The whole family gets involved and we all dress up,’’ Mrs Letton said.
This year the family is raising money for the Starlight Foundation and so far they have collected nearly $400.
Mrs Letton said every year they added something different and it generally took around five weeks to put everything together.
‘‘We love doing this to see the happiness it provides in children and adults,’’ Mrs Letton said.
‘‘There are so many things that gets everybody down throughout the year.
‘‘It’s nice to put up lights and make people smile.’’
Even with so many lights running every day of the week during December, Mrs Letton said their electricity bill had not suffered.
‘‘We are very conservative to make sure we monitor what lights we use,’’ Mrs Letton said.
St George residents also love to unleash their creative flair to spread Christmas cheer.
For years, Madrers Avenue in Ramsgate has been a popular hot spot for fairy lights, drawing in neighbours, friends and even tour buses, all keen to check out the action.
Rockdale Council even jumped in to ease the traffic congestion for revellers, turning it into a one-way street from December 8- January 8.
Jim Floudas lives on the corner and has been displaying lights for 11 years.
Mr Floudas said he enjoyed putting up the lights and decorations to entertain the children and bring joy to others.
‘‘Every year we add to the collection and make it a little different,’’ Mr Floudas said.
‘‘We all do our own lights and then we help out the neighbours who need assistance.’’
The festive spirit continues along the whole strip with nearly every house displaying at least one light.
It took Mr Floudas four weeks to complete his decorations before he headed across the road to help an elderly neighbour put up lights.
‘‘This year I netted new frames across the front exterior to hold even more lights,’’ Mr Floudas said.
‘‘I love every aspect of the decorations, from the inflatable Santa to the animated lights.’’
Mr Floudas said his electricity bill had not been affected by the lights, but if it did run high he would continue in the name of Christmas spirit.
‘‘I haven’t checked out any other streets because I just like to work on improving my own,’’ Mr Floudas said.
‘‘We have one of the best streets in Sydney and I’m glad that we can bring a smile to others.’’
LIGHT HOT SPOTS:
Looking for some lights to check out? Why not have a look at these hot spots?
Sylvania Road, Miranda
Lynch Avenue, Caringbah
Warraba and Girraween Street, Como West
Carwar Avenue, Carss Park
Corner of Kingsgrove Avenue and Kareela Street, Kingsgrove
Hodge Street, Hurstville