There are 60,000 reasons to smile at Ange Upton's Echuca home.IVY WISE December 13, 2013 4:04am
McSwains Rd resident Ange Upton and her son Caleb, 13, enjoy their last year decorating their McSwains Rd home in Christmas lights and decorations.
After a decade of Christmas light decorating and design, Echuca’s Ange Upton has hung up her lights for the last time.
But the five-time consecutive winner of the Echuca-Moama Christmas lights competition expects to go out with a bang.
Affectionately known as the ‘crazy Christmas lights lady’, Ange, with the help of fiance Laurie Ryan, has just spent the past few months planning and putting more than 60,000 lights around her McSwains Rd home and putting the final touches on her winter wonderland and Santa’s workshop creation.
‘‘I figured the 10th year would be a good year to give them away and go out with a bang,’’ she said.
This year, she has added more lights and an array of working elves in the workshop (garage), as well as new feature windows and a huge gingerbread house, all of which she makes herself.
To add to the magic, Ange dresses up as Mrs Claus, while her dutiful son Caleb, 13, becomes an elf and Santa pops in for a visit on the weekends.
Ange decided this would be her last year because her children had grown up, her ideas were running low and she was ‘‘getting too old to be going up and down on ladders for months on end’’.
‘‘My electricity bill is extortion and I cannot have the air-conditioner, TV, kettle or dishwasher going in the whole month of December as it will wipe out my power,’’ she said.
‘‘I go to work in December and come home for lights all day every day in the month of December and the Christmas parties are always out for me. But in saying all that, I have loved every minute of it all.’’
She said the reason she kept doing it all these years was the joy it gave so many people.
‘‘It’s great to see the Christmas spirit alive and well,’’ she said.
‘‘I love seeing all the little kids and their faces light up. I love dressing up as Mrs Claus and greeting everyone, handing out candy canes, talking to the whole community and seeing the awe on so many faces.
‘‘The kids are so excited, they don’t know where to look. I love that part.
‘‘I love it, I love it all and it will be so sad to see it all finish. But it must.’’
To make sure she won’t start again next year, she plans to have a monster garage sale in January to get rid of all her lights and decorations.
Ange’s house, at 61 McSwains Rd, will be lit up for all to enjoy from 8pm every day until the end of December.
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