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Dad adorns Surrey home with 22,500 Christmas lights for spectacular show

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A father-of-two has brought Deck The Halls style Christmas cheer to his street with an enormous lights display on his home.

James Innes, from Warlingham in Surrey, was inspired by the large displays of the New York suburbs to create a lights show on his house, set to a soundtrack of Christmas classics and chart hits.

He joked that he did it because “my daughter told me I couldn’t”.

The tradition started on a much smaller scale last year when renovations on his home meant the family couldn’t put any decorations up.

The show consists of 22,500 lights
Image:
The show consists of 22,500 lights

In order to bring some Christmas spirit for his son, Mr Innes put a 6ft light tree up on top of the house and set it to music. And after garnering lots of interest, he has been persuaded to do it all again this year.

The display now consists of 22,500 lights on strings of 100 lights each – with the planning beginning as early as March, when the music was finalised.

It took “hundreds of hours” to put the lights up and build custom frames to fit across the house, with a team of helpers taking two weekends to complete it.

Although this is the first year Mr Innes has built the display to this extent, he has now decided it will be an annual tradition, for as long as his neighbours don’t mind.

And although Danny DeVito’s character in Deck The Halls ends up being left behind on Christmas Eve, the Innes family has been much more supportive of the plans.

The project raises money for five charities
Image:
The project raises money for five charities

Mr Innes said: “My children are now bored of it, but my wife got surprisingly into it and has been helping answer people’s questions.

“James, who I work with on it, his partner has been handing out hot chocolates to everyone who comes to watch it each night.

“Our neighbours have been stars, they are brilliant and so patient.”

The light switch-on was held on 8 December, but Mr Innes is hosting a Christmas Eve extravaganza, complete with fireworks and a new sequence.

He said: “Lots of the parents who have come asked if we were doing anything on Christmas Eve because they don’t really have anywhere to take their kids.

“So we spoke to the neighbours and we are going to run a special show, with fireworks and a new sequence because some people will have seen it before.”

The project is raising money for five charities and causes, including the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and his daughter’s drama club at school, to help them buy new tech equipment.

It started with a much smaller tree when the family couldn't decorate inside their house
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A team of helpers worked on the display

Mr Innes has raised £750 so far and is hopeful of bringing in enough to give each cause a “meaningful sum”.

He did not tackle the project alone, getting help from friend and neighbour James Seagrove, as well as friends and organisations in the village.

The music was brought together by friend Karl Hargreaves, who managed to recall his old DJing skills after losing his memory in a life-changing road traffic accident.

The 20 minute show is displayed twice every evening, at 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

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