Spreading Christmas joy and light

Christmas just isn't Christmas without some mince pies, crackers, tree decorations and some fairy lights - and in the case of former Jindabyne postie John McLoughlin, it's more than just a few.

In fact, his Bent Street house has 156 of them and he's up there on his ladder, every Christmas, making the biggest light show in town.

It's all carefully planned and it takes John weeks of preparation and hard work - as far back as the first week in November.

But it's his way of of making a Christmas 'gift' to the local children and on some njights, like last Sunday, there are long queues to see his work.

It all started 16 years ago in a very small way - only a couple of strings of lights.

But now, he even has a talking Santa and a bucket of lollies for the kids.

Apart from the effort and time, how much does it all cost, in dollars?

"A fortune," says John. "Just ask Doreen (his wife), she reminds me of it every now and then."

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