'Battle of lights' all in fun for Christmas

Dalrymple place Barden Ridge the whole street is lit up for Christmas - Bianca Michaels. Picture John Veage
Dalrymple place Barden Ridge the whole street is lit up for Christmas - Bianca Michaels. Picture John Veage
Picture: John Veage

Picture: John Veage

Wishing well: Enjoying Christmas lights at York Street, Kingsgrove, where a wishing well is raising funds for stroke research, is (back, from left) Alecia, Stephanie, Jennifer, Joshua, Jordan; and (front) Makayla and Christian. Picture: John Veage

Wishing well: Enjoying Christmas lights at York Street, Kingsgrove, where a wishing well is raising funds for stroke research, is (back, from left) Alecia, Stephanie, Jennifer, Joshua, Jordan; and (front) Makayla and Christian. Picture: John Veage

Picture: John Veage

Picture: John Veage

Team effort: Prince Edward Park Road, Woronora. Picture: John Veage

Team effort: Prince Edward Park Road, Woronora. Picture: John Veage

Light up my life: Reader Maryanne Kourouche sent in her photos of a house in Souter Street, Kogarah Bay.

Light up my life: Reader Maryanne Kourouche sent in her photos of a house in Souter Street, Kogarah Bay.

Light up my life: Reader Maryanne Kourouche sent in her photos of a house in Souter Street, Kogarah Bay.

Light up my life: Reader Maryanne Kourouche sent in her photos of a house in Souter Street, Kogarah Bay.

Light up my life: Reader Maryanne Kourouche sent in her photos of a house in Souter Street, Kogarah Bay.

Light up my life: Reader Maryanne Kourouche sent in her photos of a house in Souter Street, Kogarah Bay.

In the Christmas spirit: John Isaias's work of light art at Banksia.

In the Christmas spirit: John Isaias's work of light art at Banksia.

Hodge Street, Hurstville in 2012. Picture: Lisa McMahon

Hodge Street, Hurstville in 2012. Picture: Lisa McMahon

Lighting up the corner of The Boulevarde and Kanangur Avenue, Gymea last year. Picture: Lisa McMahon

Lighting up the corner of The Boulevarde and Kanangur Avenue, Gymea last year. Picture: Lisa McMahon

UPDATE THURSDAY DECEMBER 19:

SUTHERLAND SHIRE

DALRYMPLE Place at Barden Ridge has encountered some of that cheerful rivalry that can only mean the Christmas lights season has arrived.

The residents of Dalrymple Place have decorated their homes for 17 years and new residents are encouraged to do the same.

The result is that almost all of the houses are adorned with spectacular lights and Christmas decorations.

Mick Michaels moved into the street in 2005 and happily joined in by decorating his home.

Since then the rivalry he shares with neighbour Dean Coombes has escalated and kept him adding to his display each year.

"There is always that little bit of competition," Mr Michaels said.

"I'm always trying to outdo Dean but there's almost no way you can do it."

Mr Coombes's house has solar-powered lights, snow machines and window displays.

He said his display was different from year to year and his mate Mick is yet to beat him.

"He's never won," he said. "If anyone is a threat to me, then I just get more lights."

While the rivalry is a bit of fun for both men they admit that it takes a back seat to the real reason they spend many weeks decorating their homes.

"It is for the kids," Mr Michaels said.

"We also get a lot of buses from the retirement villages coming here to have a look because we have this buzz and community spirit when we all get together and help each other."

Mr Coombes said any house could have the most lights but to have the whole street lit up was something truly special.

"Because the whole street does it makes a great atmosphere for people walking their dogs, or walking around with the kids just enjoying the scene."

"It's good rivalry, but it's all about the kids."

**The residents of Allambie Avenue, Caringbah South will once again be bringing hope, strength and joy to children who have life-threatening medical conditions with their Christmas Lights Spectacular display to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Australia. 

They raised more than $5000 last year in the display organised by Greg Young of 8 Allambie Avenue and supported by other residents from the area. 

ST GEORGE:

THE Christodoulatos family have brought joy to their street for 14 years by decorating their Kingsgrove home with Christmas lights.

Now a wishing well at their home will help spread the goodwill with donations raised going to the National Stroke Foundation.

The family hope their Christmas light display in York Street, Kingsgrove, will inspire people to donate to the wishing well.

Having lost a family member just 18 months ago there is a personal connection with their chosen charity.

"My father-in-law passed away from a stroke," said Lidia Christodoulatos.

"He was very proud of his son and couldn't wait for the lights to go on every year."

Mrs Christodoulatos said her family just wanted people to be aware of the good cause and to give what they could to help the foundation support survivors and their families.

"Until you experience it in your family and go through it you don't understand how difficult it is," she said.

"We didn't know much about strokes before and how serious they can be."

The foundation is the only national not-for-profit organisation which aims to reduce the impact of strokes in Australia by preventing them, facilitating essential research, improving treatment available and the quality of life for stroke survivors.

"If we knew more about it and there was more funding for research, more strokes could be prevented," Mrs Christodoulatos said.

This is the first year the family have supported the foundation. Donations will help raise awareness about the risk factors and signs of the condition, promote healthy lifestyles, improve treatment for stroke to save lives, and reduce disability and improve life after a stroke.

Foundation donations: the wishing well at 14 York Street, Kingsgrove.

EARLIER STORY:

Now that it's December, we're putting out an all-points bulletin for the best Christmas lights. Have you set up a spectacular display or spotted any good ones in your suburb?

John Isaias of Banksia launched his family's Christmas lights at his house Walberchas, 5 Oswell Street, from December 1 for the second year running. He suggests on his Facebook page that ''cable ties are your best friend''.

Mick of Barden Ridge said Dalrymple said ''our whole street has lit up again...well worth a look.''

Reader Maryanne Kourouche sent in her photos of a house in Souter Street, Kogarah Bay. She said her neighbour begins work on the light display in October. 

Click on the comment link below to share the best spots or email photos to Send Your Newshttp://www.theleader.com.au/contact/

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