After a four year break, Phillip and Jennifer Jensen are once again lighting up their Kambah home for the whole Canberra community to enjoy.
For more than 30 years, the couple has lit up Bissenberger Crescent with Christmas lights. This year, they have put up more than 450,000.
At 77, Phillip said putting up the lights still gives him “pure joy”.
“There are no words that can explain the joy I get from putting up the display,” he said.
“You’ve got little ones that come through screaming with delight, as well as older kids who are 19 and 20 who have never seen this kind of thing before and it just amazes them.
“When I first started, there was this man that brought his daughter when she was four years old to come to see the lights. Recently … she came back but this time with her own kids. The love people from the community have for the lights is just incredible.”
Phillip described himself as one of the “gifted children” – he was born on Christmas day.
“My love for Christmas began the day I was born,” he said.
“I always loved going into town and seeing all the Christmas decorations and displays and just driving around to see the lights.
“You don’t see it as much anymore. I wanted to continue putting them up to bring some of that Christmas spirit I had growing up back into the community.”
Phillip’s home in Bissenberger Crescent features a walk-through wonderland where people can immerse themselves in the bright lights and see a series of collectable toys.
“Instead of just doing an outside drive-past display, I wanted to have people walk in and see toys,” Phillip said.
“In the display you’ll find Snow White, the Grinch, Minions, the Smurfs, Elsa, Anna and the list goes on.
“There’s also Humphrey Bear, lots of action figures I’ve collected, a full-size Tardis, a storm trooper and R2-D2.
“There’s so much that people have to go through twice to see everything.”
Many of the toys featured in the display have been given to Phillip, so his home is filled with the community’s mementos and treasures – including a rocking horse that has been passed down from generation to generation, a 25-year-old fire engine, and a rocking pig.
The Bissenberger Crescent Christmas display had been in the works since October, and was first lit up on 1 December.
Although he is getting older and is starting to struggle getting up and down the ladder to put up lights, this won’t be the last time you’ll see Phillip’s Kambah home decorated.
“Jennifer and I talked about stopping putting up the display, but we just can’t do it,” Phillip said.
“The last four years we hadn’t put up the display wasn’t because we didn’t want to, we couldn’t due to family circumstances.
“We decided that next year we will do a walk-around display at the front of the yard instead of our usual walk-through wonderland, so if you haven’t seen the walk-through display yet, this is your last chance.
“We will probably put up around 300,000 lights and toys up, and I think I can make it nearly as spectacular as the current display. It’ll be something that no one’s seen before that’s for sure.”
If you’re planning to visit the Bissenberger Crescent home, remember to take a gold coin donation which will go directly to the Rise Above charity .
“People that haven’t come here yet are missing out on a really delightful childhood Christmas display,” Phillip said.
“I think anyone, of any age will enjoy it.”
Original Article published by Evelyn Karatzas on Riotact.