Christmas is fast approaching, and in traditional Yass fashion the town is gearing up for the holidays and residents have taken to decorating their homes to bring happiness during the holiday season.
Yass has been home to some fantastic displays of lights and Christmas scenes over the years, and 2020 is no exception whether it be a few lights put up out the front of a home, or big intricate displays – the Yass community has been involved in spreading Christmas Cheer.
Bruce and Nancy Hook pictured above have been decorating their yard in Orion street since 2008 slowly adding to their work each year. The impressive thing about their display is almost everything is handcrafted. Bruce creates the wooden cuts of Christmas characters while Nancy paints them.
It all started with a Nativity scene Bruce made for Nancy’s shop, and it grew from there. Now they have a yard full lights and Christmas Characters which Bruce has connected mechanically to move. It takes them about eight hours to put out all of their hand made wooden pieces, while the lights go up over the course of a week.
The Hooks use solar-powered lights, and they usually turn them on around 8 pm until 10:30 pm or 11 pm. Mrs Hook noted that the last few days before Christmas, the time gets later and later. They encourage people to come into their yard and look around and have a chat.
“We love people to come in and see everything. It gives us great pleasure to make and paint the decorations. Then we have the second pleasure of seeing everyone enjoy our handicrafts. That’s the best thing about it, seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces,” said Mrs Hook.
Their display can be enjoyed during the day with all the Christmas characters and bright colours, or at night when they come to life, moving and surrounded by lights. Every Christmas eve Santa visits their yard to give out lollies and have photos taken.
Grampian Street sees two prominent displays including the Morgans who have been putting up lights for over 20 years. It started for their children and their own interest and has grown bigger and bigger each year.
“In the past five to six years, I got a bit carried away. I doubled the size of the display and started to put lights further down the yard,” said Gary Morgan.
Mr Morgan said the display this year took him around 18 days to fully set up by the time he had planned it, put up the collection, and then fine-tuned it. The display is made different each year which is why it takes so much effort and time to create.
“That’s the challenge I have and the bit I enjoy; being creative,” said Mr Morgan.
“The community appreciates it, and I continue to do the hard work and watch the smiles on people’s faces every year that I do it.”
Mr Morgan said he looks online all year round for new things to add to his display but is currently restricting himself from buying more goods. His collection has grown over the past years and has so much to work; not all his equipment is put out each year.
The Farnell’s are another family who enjoy going ‘all out’ for Christmas with a tree that they display each year. Beginning in 2013 the tree was originally 5.5 metres high but has since been increased to 7.5 metres in height. It now has around 4000 lights on the tree and takes Mr Farnell a few hours to erect each year.
“It’s colourful, its fun, and it looks awesome. I initially started doing it for my daughter, and now it’s the whole Christmas cheer that gets me to continue,” said Mr Farnell.
Each Christmas eve the Farnell’s sit out the front of their house on Yeo Crescent and wish people Merry Christmas. Kids from the neighbourhood along with their daughter hand out lollies to people passing by and create a very social setting to enjoy the season.
These are just a few of the people who are involved in decorating their homes to bring Christmas joy to our community. One thing that all the decorators agree on is a lot of time, effort and money go into the displays, but it is worth it to bring happiness this time of year.