Spotlight On Christmas Lights In Rural Towns

Sandra and Will Evitts bring a lot of Christmas joy with their Christmas lights display to Broken Hill in rural NSW.

Names/ages of family members

Sandra Evitts 63 and Will Evitts 63

How long have you been lighting your house?

“Started doing it on a grander scale for the past 15 years.”

Why do you do it?

“It gives us joy to be giving joy to the children and the lights are very popular with the kids in the area. Also, in previous years the local council have run a competition where the local kids get to vote who has the best Xmas light display in the town and we’ve won a couple of times and donated the winnings to a local charity called Silverlea Early Intervention. We also have a collection box at our house and usually end up with $400 to $1000 to donate to the charity so that‘s a great reason to do this.”

How long does it take to put up and take down the lights?

“ I start putting up lights in early November – every day, for 4 weeks, and by 1st of December they are all up. We also have a whole garden of interactive toys which we will bring out every day for 4 weeks from the beginning of December. Start taking them out 4pm and then bring them back in at 11pm.”

Where do you store them all?

In the shed.

Total number of lights/wattage?

“Tens of thousands of lights, but it is very hard to say. Most of them are run off 12V transformers.”

Total amount spent on lights over the years?
“I haven’t a clue! If we see something we buy it, if you think it’s going to look good and the kids will get enjoyment out of it then we will have it, simple as that.”

How many lights do you add each year?

“We add thousands a year, we don’t stop and count how many but we like to add each year. My husband Will comes up with a few different ideas and themes of what he would like to do so we are adding every single year.”

Roughly how much would you spend on new lights annually?
“I really don’t know.”

What do the lights add to your energy bill?

“It’s an insignificant amount really, the energy bill doesn’t change too much to be honest.”

How would you describe your lights?

“We have a big tree out the front with thousands and thousands of lights in the tree. We don’t always have a theme but there are always movie characters involved in the decorations with lights covering them and fancying them up a bit, - characters from Shrek, Toy Story etc. We use all different colours in our lights – not always the traditional Xmas colours of red, green and yellow but we include others as well.”

Any special features that set your lights apart?
“Not really.”

Are you part of a lighting street culture, or a one off in your street?

“There are a couple of people around Broken Hill who do there lights and will make an effort.”

What are the most popular elements of your display?

“The kids love the lights but they love the little interactive toys too which change every year.”

Your personal favourite light/s?

“I can’t decide.”

Do you think you’re addicted to house lighting?

“For four weeks of the year it’s a great hobby but we don’t think about it beyond that. It’s a great thing to do for four weeks of the year.”

Any forseeable end to your house lighting journey, or are you in it for the long haul?

“We will do it for long as possible. At the moment we are committed to doing it and want to do it for as long as we can.”

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