Dan puts Christmas on the map
Joseph Banks Drive is not the Las Vegas Strip – but it seems nobody’s told the folks at number 41.
While most of us are still contemplating when to put up the Christmas tree, the exterior of Dan Comeskey’s Whitby home already pulsates with the sparkle and glow of thousands of lights.
He enjoys the pleasure the spectacle bring to his family and the community.
While Kapi- Mana News was visiting, many motorists stopped to gaze for several minutes, while passers- by offered praise and amazement at the spectacle that took him ‘‘four weekends and most of a week’’ to put together.
‘‘ I’m a Christmas nut,’’ he confesses.
‘‘Last night a young couple sat in their car for 40 minutes looking at the lights. And it’s young adults and teenagers, who you wouldn’t expect to oooh and aaah over Christmas lights.’’
It’s a relationship he wants to foster.
Dan has set up a website – led xmaslights.co.nz – to encourage people to email him when they see houses with Christmas lights so he can put together and update a lights trail. Maps showing the locations of decorated houses will be available to print.
‘‘In previous years the Professionals [ real estate company] organised a Christmas lights trail so those who don’t have any lights or can’t afford to display the lights in this current economic climate could still enjoy the festive spirit.
‘‘Many people commented last year that it was hard to find the homes that have lights in the area and they waste a lot of time and petrol driving around the region trying to locate them.’’
The website is a quick-fix, with brighter ambitions for 2012. ‘‘We hope to link with local newspapers and radio in 2012 to get a much better site and trail available with early publicity and some prizes of LED [ light- emitting diode] Christmas lights to be won.’’
Dan’s light arrangement this season is by far his grandest yet, attributable to affordable LED lights sourced from China.
‘‘They would be $5500 to $6000 retail [in New Zealand] – but it wasn’t nearly that much.’’
An importer by trade, he also has plans to turn his passion into his livelihood.
‘‘ I hope to import them and make them affordable for people.
‘‘Good quality lights that last ... I’ll look to find a couple of good investors. Displays were a lot bigger before the recession hit.
‘‘ Some people move, some people can’t afford to put them up.
‘‘Hopefully it will pick up again now.
‘‘There is a market, but it’s too expensive still.
‘‘I want to get the prices down.’’
Register your Christmas light display or ones you have spotted: email@example.com.
All lit up: Light spotters are enjoying the sight of 41 Joseph Banks Drive.
Mr Christmas: Dan Comeskey has turned to the internet to assemble a Christmas lights community so fanatics and followers can track down local Christmas displays with ease.