Family delights in putting twinkle in children’s eyes

Just on dusk, pajama-clad children begin appearing on the lawn of a Cambridge house.

With great anticipation the switch is flicked, and the lawn is lit with thousands of fairy lights.

“You hear them go `ooh’ and `ahh’,” said Oaklands Dr homeowner Jos Philip. “The kids really love it, it has become a tradition.”

Mrs Philip, her husband Glen and their two-year-old son Luke are one of the growing number of Waikato families decorating their houses with Christmas lights.

“This year there are about 16,000 lights. We almost didn’t do it this year because there was vandalism last year, but we had kids asking for the `twinklies’ so we couldn’t let them down.”

The Philip family’s collection began eight years ago as a single string of fairy lights, and things have since snowballed.

On December 1 friends and family held a working bee to help hang the lights and set up the collection of six white Christmas trees, a flying Santa, reindeer, candy canes and “another reindeer or three” at a cost of thousands of dollars.

“I would hate to know how much we have spent on it but people really love it and now we have our son and another on the way it is something really nice to share with them,” Mrs Philip said.

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