More than just a light display
CHRISTMAS starts early for the Geatches family.
Bruce and wife Alison and 15-year-old son Josh from Redbank Plains start preparing their interactive Christmas display a whole year before any lights go up.
This year their months of hard work paid off when the family were named the City Wide winners of the Light Up Ipswich competition.
"It's like an addiction now. I'm already thinking about how we can do it bigger and better next year," Bruce said.
"It's not about the accolades for us. We just like seeing the smiles on people's faces."
Bruce said the hard work didn't stop when the lights were hung, the display required constant upkeep throughout Christmas.
The only big issue they faced was when the rain caused powdery fake snow to become slippery mud.
"Next year we are having the snow in a little spot in the yard for kids to play but will leave the walkway clear," he said.
"Every year we learn and make changes."
Bruce said that on average more than 500 people visited the display each night.
"We love it and we never get sick of carols or Christmas music," he joked. "We love seeing the smiles."
Bruce said their elaborate display at 5 Tindle St, Redbank Plains, which includes a reindeer display, a giant sleigh and a 'wall of Santas', attracted people from all over Ipswich.
The family also collected donations for Ripley Rural Fire Brigade and Beyond Blue.
"Every little bit helps," Bruce said.
The annual Light Up Ipswich competition is sponsored by the Queensland Times, River 949, Channel 9 and Ipswich City Council.