Pat just loves light­ing up Christ­mas for ev­ery­one

Rotorua Daily Post - - Local News - Shauni James

Colour­ful, twin­kling lights and San­tas of all sizes are just a cou­ple of the things Ro­torua fam­i­lies can en­joy in The Pro­fes­sion­als Christ­mas and New Year Lights Spec­tac­u­lar.

This year’s Christ­mas Lights Trail is un­der way and the com­mu­nity has been asked to help pick a win­ner.

Vot­ing is open un­til De­cem­ber 14.

Ra­jind Senevi­ratne, Pro­fes­sion­als McDow­ell Real Es­tate client en­gage­ment man­ager, said there were 15 en­trants in the trail this year.

“In pre­vi­ous years we have had more fam­i­lies tak­ing part, but due to var­i­ous cir­cum­stances some of them haven’t done so this year.”

Senevi­ratne said this was an awe­some com­mu­nity event and a way in which fam­i­lies could cel­e­brate Christ­mas to­gether as wha¯ nau.

The par­tic­i­pants put a lot of ef­fort, time and in­vest­ment into cre­at­ing some amaz­ing-look­ing lights, Senevi­ratne said.

“We have lots of peo­ple con­tact­ing us and re­quest­ing in­for­ma­tion about the lights trail.

“It is a fun event for the fam­ily to do and cel­e­brate Christ­mas to­gether as a com­mu­nity.

“We are look­ing for­ward to see­ing lots of fam­i­lies go­ing through the trail and sup­port­ing the ef­fort of these awe­some par­tic­i­pants.” Ro­torua’s Pat Ash­ton has won the best-lit home in the an­nual Ro­torua Christ­mas Lights Trail for the past two years. She has been tak­ing part for four years. Ash­ton said she used to live in Utuhina Rd on a hill and used to dec­o­rate the house there, but never en­tered into the trail un­til she moved to Glen­holme. “I mostly do it for the chil­dren be­cause I love chil­dren and it grew. Each year has got a bit big­ger.”

She said she en­joyed see­ing the look on the chil­dren’s faces.

“I say I do it for the chil­dren, but also for the adults — the big chil­dren.”

Ash­ton said she had been col­lect­ing Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions and items for about 20 years.

She just loved Christ­mas and do­ing any­thing fes­tive with the fam­ily.

It takes her about six weeks to set up her dec­o­ra­tions for the Christ­mas Lights Trail.

She said her friends and rel­a­tives helped her to set up the blow-up San­tas and the lights around the house and trees.

“The chil­dren used to go past — even high school boys — and say ‘Are you put­ting your lights up again?’ I said ‘I will be do­ing it as long as I’m ca­pa­ble’.”

Ash­ton’s favourite Christ­mas item is a white teddy bear with gold wings hold­ing a gold vi­o­lin. It also plays the mu­sic of Silent Night.

She said this was be­cause she lost a friend last year and her hus­band gave Ash­ton all of her friend’s Christ­mas items, in­clud­ing the teddy bear.

Ash­ton said she had 52 Christ­mas teddy bears.

● To vote for your favourite house on the Christ­mas Lights Trail you can “like” the photo of the house on the Ro­torua Pro­fes­sion­als McDow­ell Real Es­tate Facebook or In­sta­gram page.

PHO­TOS / STEPHEN PARKER

Ro­torua’s Pat Ash­ton in her twin­kling Christ­mas-themed garage.

Pat Ash­ton sur­rounded by some of her out­door Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions.

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