The home of Pauline Stewart and her family has become a beacon of light – not just because of the hundreds of illuminated decorations they put up, but also for the smiles they put on youngsters’ faces and the money they raise for charity.
The bungalow at 48 Twinning Link is probably the most decorated house in Forres, and despite being tucked away in the far corner of the housing scheme, hundreds of people come to see the spectacle every year.
Since starting a charity collection pot three years ago, the illuminations have also raised much-needed funds for MFR Cash for Kids.
And the idea has spread from Christmas to Halloween. In the final month of October, the family raised a whopping £620 for their spooky display. And they’re bringing raffles and home bakes into the mix as well.
Pauline, who has lived in the house for 10 years, when she moved from Newmill near Keith said: “I’ve been collecting decorations for years, and people love it, they queue up down the street to see them and we’ve been collecting money for MFR Cash for Kids for three years.”
“Some ornaments break, and some get stolen, but we keep on adding to our collection year after year. We’ve even had rocks thrown at our roof and tiles broken.”
The whole family, Christopher, Abbie Rose and Sarah all pitch in, but it’s the eldest, Kathleen, who gets the job of climbing on the roof to link up the hundreds of feet of lights that string across the property.
Kathleen said: “We do it to see the look of joy on the children’s faces.”
It takes nearly a month for the family to get all decorations out of the loft and in position around the house for the big switch-on on 1 December.
The display is on for just over a month between 4pm and 8pm, and they use a lot of battery-operated decorations to cut down on electricity consumption.
“We start just after Halloween decorations come down on 1 November. It takes a fair while to get it all set up and then we have set times during December. It’s become an annual event and we’re really pleased to have raised all this money for Cash for Kids.”