Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Months of planning and at least three or four weeks of work goes into the elaborate and colourful...
Months of planning and at least three or four weeks of work goes into the elaborate and colourful Christmas display outside John and Isabel Fraser’s home in Fairfield. The Frasers are just one of dozens of home owners in Dunedin lighting up the night with large outside Christmas displays this year. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
From Waldronville to Waitati, Dunedin homes are lit up like Christmas trees as residents cover their homes in an assortment of colourful, flashing and festive light displays.

Fairfield residents John and Isabel Fraser have spent hours covering their Martin Rd home with thousands of multi-coloured lights, an inflatable Santa Claus and a nativity scene.

Last year, about 1000 people visited the display on Christmas Eve, and this year they had installed brighter LED lights, Mr Fraser said.

Planning for the display started in October and it took three or four weeks’ work, with outside help, to install the display.

The lights were proving far more popular than in previous years.

"I think the word has got out about the display so we’ve already seen more and more people, which is great."

Halfway Bush residents Lloyd and Irene Cron have been decorating their home in Rudd Rd for the past six years.

Mr Cron said the first time they put up Christmas lights, they  noticed young people running around enjoying themselves.

Each year since, they had improved their displays.

"The best thing is the amount of enjoyment the children and the older ones get out of it," Mr Cron said.

Prof John Stenhouse, from the University of Otago’s history and art history department, said the light displays showed New Zealand was not simply a secular society.

The growing popularity of the light displays showed the continuing appeal of Christmas stories and of Christian spirituality, Prof Stenhouse said.

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