Welcome to Leigh Park's Christmas winter wonderland
MOST people are happy with a tree with a few pieces of tinsel at Christmas, but one family is taking festive decorations to a whole new level.
For the last 15 years Dave Watson has been delighting his neighbours in Leigh Park with an extravagant lights display in his front garden.
This year the Woolston Road resident is asking people to dig deep and donate money to support the Make-A-Wish foundation, which supports seriously-ill children across the country.
Dave, 57, said: ‘You have kids who can’t afford this so this is something special for them at Christmas.
‘You see the children walk by and see their little faces, they just love it.’
Last year father-of-eight Dave raised £150 to help children at Prospect School, a special school in Havant.
The display itself does not come cheap, and Dave said he spends thousands of pounds creating his winter wonderland, including buying lights in bulk from as far afield as China.
He said: ‘It takes about two weeks to put it all together and it’s planned over a couple of months beforehand.
‘I have to buy new lights every year, they do still work but are kept outside all the time which can affect them a bit.
‘We’ve got a sleigh where kids can go and see Santa, and have their photos taken at the same time.’
Visitors are encouraged to give donations to support the foundation.
Despite the lights only being up for about a week, the family have already raised about £40 through their collection.
Dave, who planned the lights with wife Sharon, said: ‘They call me the Christmas Man – I love Christmas myself, and I enjoy putting the display up.
‘Whatever I raise I will be happy with, and I just hope the charity will be happy with what we do.
‘In Leigh Park I know a lot of parents can’t afford a lot so I’m happy with whatever they put in.
‘They come back night after night. You can see the lights from the bottom of our road – you can’t miss it.’
The Make-A-Wish Foundation aims to grant wishes to help children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.
To find out more about the charity’s work, and about how to donate, go to make-a-wish.org.uk.