Christmas enthusiast Sophie Nico's lights display is ready to enchant youngsters this festive season. See her story and more in our Christmas feature.
AS a youngster, Sophie Nico cherished the nights she and her family traversed the local neighbourhood gazing at the Christmas lights.
She dreamt of one day having her own display, and now at 23, she does.
“Giving kids that same enjoyment I had as a child feels wonderful,” Ms Nico said.
For the past few years, she has decorated her family's Munster home in an array of brilliance – starting with a modest string of lights – but this year, she takes it up a notch with a greater spectacle featuring a few crafty new items.
Her homemade pieces include a Santa mailbox, where kids post letters to the big guy in red, a gingerbread house and an array of colourful signs for the garden.
Stars, snowmen and reindeer will also feature among the lights this year.
She also decks out the living room with animatronics, train sets, lights and a huge tree.
A family affair, her father loves to get involved: his main duty is putting the lights on the roof.
“We get regular people coming every year and they pick out what is new, which is kind of cool,” Ms Nico said.
“Decking my house out gives me a little place to escape from all the stress of reality.
“It's just something I love to do — a form of giving back – and every year I plan to go bigger and better.”
Ms Nico celebrates Christmas Day with family at her grandparents' home, indulging in a sumptuous Portuguese lunch of meats, seafood, salads and potatoes.
Christmas enthusiast Sophie Nico. Picture: Jon Hewson