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Kiwis Light Up Their Christmas In Grand Style

Kiwis Light Up Their Christmas In Grand Style

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The Warehouse 'Light Up Your Home' winners, Mr & Mrs Joe Anderson, outside their winning Kaiapoi home


19 December 2005 - A North Canterbury house decorated with so many Christmas lights it is visible on the flight path into Christchurch, is the winner of The Warehouse's 'Light Up Your Home' competition.

The Anderson family's Kaiapoi home is the grand winner, alongside five runners-up from all over the country. The Anderson's home was chosen for its meticulous, creative and colourful outdoor lighting display that took them two weeks to set up.

Joe Anderson says, "We are very festive people who enjoy getting into the spirit of the event. We have more than 38,000 lights, mainly from The Warehouse, but all the other decorations are handmade."

Features of the Anderson display include decorations that can talk or sing. One Santa dances while telling kids to remember to "clean your teeth". On the top of the house sits a fake chimney, with a Santa headfirst into the opening; a small speech bubble next to the chimney says "Bugger!" There is also a waving Santa, and a Jack-in-the-box.

Some visitors are even treated to a sing-a-long with a neighbour coming over to play the organ in the garage which opens to welcome visitors.

Joe and his son Shane came up with the design and manage the logistics of the display, which has continued to develop over the years using a considerable amount of Kiwi ingenuity. For instance, to make Santa wave and to get the Jack to jump out of his box Mr Anderson uses record turntables linked to cables, which trip the movement every time the record spins around.

Cynthia Church of The Warehouse says, "This is the first year we have run this competition, and we are impressed by how many good entries we received. All six finalists put so much effort into their homes for the enjoyment of all - they are to be commended for their passion. I can't believe the Andersons put up 38,000 lights!"

All five finalists win a gift card from The Warehouse loaded with $500 worth of spending power, and the Andersons win $5,000 as the overall winners.

A festive tradition in many countries around the world, Christmas outdoor lighting is becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand, where streets like Ponsonby's Franklin Road in Auckland attract big crowds during December. The Warehouse's range of outdoor Christmas lights has been expanded by 50 percent this year in response to the demand.

The Warehouse 'Light Up Your Home' competition attracted more than 700 entries. Entrants were required to purchase at least one type of outdoor Christmas lights from The Warehouse to enter. Along with the entry form, contestants sent photos of their home decorated for the festive season and were judged on their creative flair and effort.


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