Man covers home with 10k lights to ‘bring back the magic’ of Christmas
A Christmas-mad tree surgeon from County Durham has decked his house out with 10,000 LED lights this festive season – for just £4.50 a night.
For over five years, Andrew Walters, 32, has been spreading Christmas cheer across his hometown of Stillington with his extravagant decorations in a bid to rid the festive season of its commercialisation and bring back the true magic of Christmas.
With the help of local businesses across Teesside, Andrew has spent the past five weeks covering his house from top to bottom with over 10,000 LED lights, saving a fortune on his electricity bills by using energy-efficient lightbulbs.
Having received an positive response from his neighbours, Andrew decided to use his attraction’s popularity to raise money for those who need it most. For the last three years, has raised hundreds of pounds for vital charities such as Cash for Kids.
This year, Andrew decided to dedicate this year’s Christmas light display to his neighbour’s 17-year-old daughter who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – all of this year’s money will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
On how all his hard work came to fruition, the tree surgeon said: ‘Jewson’s has sponsored us this year, and Glenwood’s Paints down in Darlington.
‘I even contacted a lovely company down in Leeds called the Plastic People who donated the Perspex I needed for the toy shop window for free.
‘All the toys in the window are brand new as well, and apart from the odd couple that I’m keeping for next year’s display, all the others will be going to the Women’s Refuge in Stockton after Christmas as well.
‘I couldn’t believe the generosity of businesses and stuff like that.’
Since the grand switch-on last Saturday, Andrew has already smashed last year’s target, raising more than £600 for the charity – with all the money going to specialist nurses to help young people fight this terrible disease.
To make launch night more magical, he even went so far as to hire the ‘real’ Santa Claus, who came all the way from Lapland, aka Peterlee, in Andrew’s bedazzled car.
He continued: “It’s all commercialised and there’s not enough magic for the kids these days, and there are so many Santas and stuff like that which is why I wanted a decent one, so he came all that way for the kids.
My friend had come along with her children and she said that the kids were absolutely amazed by it, it’s just about bringing back the magic for the kids – with the added bonus of raising money for charity too.
‘On the switch-on night, as soon as we mentioned the girl over the road, the donation buckets started filling up quicker, her dad was live streaming it to her and she was crying because she loves Christmas but at the moment she’s stuck in the hospital getting treatment. So hopefully she’ll be able to come out at some point before Christmas’.
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