Come ye, to David’s festive house

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David van Tongeren sits on a new Santa sleigh among his home's Christmas delights. Photo: Supplied
David van Tongeren sits on a new Santa sleigh among his home's Christmas delights. Photo: Supplied
David and Margaret Van Tongeren enjoy making people smile at Christmas.

And this year is no exception, their Ashburton home has been lit up with festivity to delight young and old alike.

Hundreds of people have already visited their Christmas-themed home on Alford Forest Road since the gates opened to the public on December 1. They will stay open until January 1.

The couple, with family help, have once again put on a visual feast and added new decorations to their extensive assortment of LED laser lights, musical displays, movie projectors, inflatables, rope lights and figurines of all shapes and sizes.

There is a reindeer woodland, more Nutcrackers, a miniature decorative skating rink scene, new Christmas trees and a giant six foot tall ferris wheel.

Decorating their house for others to enjoy as well is something the Van Tongerens have done for the past five years – and each year the collection gets bigger and better.

Hundreds of hours of work goes into setting up the thousands of Christmas-themed displays and it started later than usual this year as they hosted a family wedding.

The Van Tongerens and family members usually take around 17 weeks to set up, testing lights and bringing them out of storage.

Then they plan the display on the roof, around the whole property and into the front rooms of the house. Miniature figurines and the Christmas train track are particular favourites inside for smaller children.

Around 90 per cent of the decorations (except the inflatables) can operate in all weather conditions, Mr Van Tongeren said.

Many thousands of people have visited the property in past years and many people return multiple times during the month; it was likely to increase the closer it got to Christmas.

They turn on the lights at dusk and they stay on until midnight.

Over the years there has been a significant investment in the various displays, most from The Christmas Hut in Christchurch, but there has been at least one Australian purchase.

They have so many items, such is the joy of buying them, the Van Tongerens have loaned a full-sized Santa sleigh to Mitre 10 Mega, where Mr Van Tongeren works. It is sitting above the lighting department.

The Van Tongerens have family arriving in town from Christchurch and Dunedin and grandchildren aged from three to 22 years old that they are looking forward to spending time with over the festive holiday.

 

 

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