Cambridge Park resident Paul Mitchell is continuing his tradition of spreading Christmas cheer in his community, after starting his light decorations over 17 years ago.
The 63-year-old and his wife have masses of people coming to their house from December 1 to December 24 every year to look at their light display and get their photo taken with Santa Claus.
Mr Mitchell told the Weekender it’s amazing how busy it gets.
“It’s especially busy on weekends and Christmas Eve is just nuts, but every night people come and look at the display – it’s just great to see,” he said.
“The retirement village buses come around too and I jump on them dressed as Santa and have a bit of a laugh with them and they seem to really enjoy it.”
Donning the Santa suit from tomorrow (Thursday, December 1), Mr Mitchell said it wasn’t always a big thing, but has grown over the years.
“We used to just do the Santa thing on weekends but it just got bigger and bigger, so now we do it right through December until Christmas Eve,” he said.
“The only reason I do it is to make people happy, particularly the kids – I wouldn’t do it otherwise.”
Over the last three years, the Mitchells have been using the Christmas display as an opportunity to raise funds for their five-year-old granddaughter’s school.
Catherine Sullivan Centre, based in Strathfield, is an early intervention centre for children with hearing loss.
“We’ve raised about $3,000 for them over the past three years,” Mr Mitchell said.
“The school’s been great for our granddaughter who is deaf, so it’s good to be able to give something back.”
Now in his early 60s, Mr Mitchell said taking the lights down on New Year’s Day has become a bit of a task for him and his wife.
“We used to do it in a day when we were a bit younger but we have to spread it out across a whole week now – it’s a bit of a process,” he said.
Catch the Mitchell family’s amazing Christmas lights display until Christmas Eve, located on Pembroke Street in Cambridge Park.
Locals can head there every night for a photo with Santa and to check out the numerous light displays in the street.