Switched-on fam­ily lighting up Christ­mas

Evening Express (City Final) - - News - BY LEE MCCANN

A NORTH-EAST home could give Las Ve­gas a run for its money thanks to its Christ­mas lights dis­play – and all while rais­ing funds for char­ity. Scott Mcarthur, 38, and his wife Kirsti, 37, have been the talk of New­ton­hill af­ter putting up their at­trac­tive light show on St Peters Road. For the fifth year, the house is burst­ing with lights that in­clude Christ­mas trees, San­tas and a Na­tiv­ity scene. A pre-pro­grammed set of the il­lu­mi­na­tions al­lows a short mes­sage to flash up at the prop­erty wish­ing ever­body a “Merry Christ­mas and Happy New Year from the Mcarthur fam­ily”. The dis­play started as a treat for their daugh­ter Jess, who is now aged four, while the Mcarthurs have since been joined by one-year-old Rose. Mr Mcarthur, 38, a struc­tural en­gi­neer, said: “It was started for Jess, who was a bit younger and ev­ery year has got big­ger and big­ger. “It has got to the point that we ac­tu­ally can’t get any more lights onto the house be­cause we can’t get any more power through the mains. “I’d love to put more lights on, we just can’t ac­tu­ally do it. “I think the dis­play is good for the vil­lage, it cheers ev­ery­one up – so I’m told.” Stag­ing the lights takes weeks of prepa­ra­tion by Scott, who had the idea in the first place. It also raises money for the Bet­tridge Cen­tre in the town and But­ter­fly Trust, for peo­ple af­fected by cys­tic fi­bro­sis. Mr Mcarthur said: “Hope­fully when Jess and Rose get a bit older they will be able to help me put the dis­play up. “I start the first week of Novem­ber and I work in the evenings and at week­ends. In the lead up to the switch-on I’m there un­til 10pm at night with a head torch on. “Thank­fully this year I’ve had some sup­port from peo­ple in the vil­lage.” An of­fi­cial switch-on event was held at the house. Mr Mcarthur said: “Ev­ery year we have our switch-on the first Satur­day in De­cem­ber. This year we had a good few hun­dred peo­ple watch­ing.” How­ever, the big event did not all go to plan. “On the night we have five in­di­vid­ual but­tons in­side and un­for­tu­nately one per­son didn’t press the but­ton at the right time; only four came on, so it was 90% lit, but I soon fixed it.” The dad said his favourite dec­o­ra­tion was a giant bear who sits on top of the garage. He added: “I do love the bear be­cause of the sheer size of him. Putting him up there can cause is­sues with the wind. If it is a windy night, I am para­noid that he might blow off but he is fully se­cured. “This year we have a new let­ters to Santa box and had peo­ple post­ing let­ters to him. “Kids come by ev­ery day af­ter school. They are all want­ing to come see the lights.”

The Christ­mas lights dis­play has be­come the talk of New­ton­hill, with an of­fi­cial switch-on event held

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