Christmas may still be more than six weeks away, but a family from Nuthall is getting festive early by turning their home into a winter wonderland for charity.
The display, which Tony Swift and his wife Wendy have been working on since September, brings together all elements of the festive season, from Santa Claus on his sleigh to a traditional nativity set.
The couple have been undertaking the wintery transformation for the past 14 years, and it all started with switching lights on early for Wendy’s father when he came to visit.
“My Dad used to pop round to us on a Sunday at 6pm, and we started switching a few lights on for him as he came round the corner,” said Wendy.
“When he passed away it was decided that we would raise money for charity, and we chose Haywood House, which is where he used to spend some time.”
“We started raising money the first year and it just took off from there each year and the displays just kept getting bigger.”
As well as Haywood House Hospice, the garden is also raising money for When You Wish Upon A Star, a charity which grants wishes for children with life threatening illnesses.
Tony said: “There’s two [favourite] things, putting smiles on kiddies faces and to raise as much money as we can for the two charities, both of which mean a lot to me.”
“Whatever we raise I’m sure the two charities will be great. It would be nice to beat last year’s but last year was £21,000, and that’s a lot of money to try and beat.
“It is a commitment, we don’t sit down from the opening night until January 2 for an evening meal together.”
The official light switch-on is Sunday, November 19, and the Siddiqui family from Gogglebox will be there as well as a brass band from Hucknall, live music from singer Holly Fallon and other special guests including Santa and Mickey Mouse.
Tony estimates the family spent an extra £600 on the lighting this year, with new cascading lights and garden features being added this year. Entry to the garden is free, though, but donations are welcomed.
“We don’t charge anybody to come in the garden they come and have a walk around…if they make a donation that’s fantastic, if they cant afford it, we don’t say ‘you can’t come in’.”
The opening night is set to be a busy one, with last year’s bringing in between 1,500 and 2,000 people.
The Nuthall Christmas lights will be switched on at 6pm on Sunday, November 19, with entertainment and music from 4pm.