Teen’s selfless gesture creates wonderland for neighbours
THE sounds of children laughing and families marvelling fills the vibrant front garden of Luke Francis' Redland Bay home each December night until Christmas Day.
The Faith Lutheran College student, who begins Year 11 next year, says they are proud moments - knowing he has brought joy to his neighbours and community.
It has been five years since the teen bought his first set of fairy lights for his Christmas lights display at 6-8 Woodcrest Close, Redland Bay - he purchased the lights with his own pocket money.
Each dollar he earnt by way of mowing lawns, washing cars and gratefully receiving birthday and Christmas presents over the next five years was put towards crafting the scene of many happy festive memories for families across the Redlands.
He estimates he has spent almost $500 of his own money on the display, with help from his parents to buy additional items.
Bit by bit Luke has built one of the Redlands' most stunning Christmas lights displays complete with a snow machine, 13 inflatable Christmas characters and almost 100 sets of fairy lights - almost 800m of which sparkles from the roof alone.
"I love celebrating the festive season with the community and love giving families the opportunity to take a night out and enjoy the Christmas spirit," Luke said.
Inspiration struck after Luke was invited to take part in crafting a giant Lego Christmas display in Sydney in 2014.
"Ever since then I've really loved Christmas," he said.
He said his home Christmas lights display had grown to the point where he now welcomes more than 1000 people to his front yard each Christmas eve.
"It's built up over the years ... people have started to come every year.
"It feels really cool, that so many people are coming to look at your lights display."
He said with so many "bad things" going on in the world, his personal festive masterpiece - which he begins mid-October - was a way to "spread joy a bit more".
Luke's tips for starting a Christmas lights display:
● Have a plan of what you want to go where in the display
● Make a budget
● Shop around to compare prices
● Make some Christmas decorations to then add lights to them