Warwick Christmas brings the big kid out
WHEN it comes to getting into the Christmas spirit, Nick Minchell has it covered.
Not only has the Warwick truckie decked out the family home in thousands of flashing Christmas lights, but every night he dons a warm Santa suit, and accompanied by his little helpers, greets the passers-by who come to check out his lights display.
Each night from 7-9pm at 19 Sharon Drive, right through until Christmas Eve, Mr Minchell and the elves will be handing out candy canes to everyone who stops by for a look.
Complete with white beard and wispy moustache, Mr Minchell is unrecognisable, and that's the way he likes it.
"I've been dressing up as Santa for years,” he said.
"I've also donned the Bundy Bear suit and been the odd mascot as well.
"It's a bit of fun and I've got no problem putting my hand up to make a fool of myself, if no one knows it's me doing it.”
While his cover might be blown now, there's little chance he'll stop.
Adding a new element to his Christmas lights efforts started eight years ago, when his then four-year-old son asked him to dress up as Santa.
Mr Minchell was living in Mt Gambier, South Australia at the time and decided to go one better and take it to the street.
Since then, he's done it every year, and clearly loves it.
"It's all about the Christmas spirit,” he said.
"I love seeing the other houses in the street get involved. Whether it's just a string of lights, or those that open the curtains so people can see their Christmas tree all done up, I think it's fantastic.”
This is the first year Mr Minchell has had helpers.
"The girls have really got into the spirit too, they love it,” he said.
"They'll be dancing around outside the whole time and greeting people.
"We get about 20 cars a night come past, and some stop for a chat, to compliment us on the lights or to say well done for getting dressed up.”
Mr Minchell said Christmas was a favourite time of year for him.
"It's mainly because I get to act like a kid,” he said.
"I'm really a 35-year-old big kid. I hope people enjoy it, I think they do.
"A lot of time and effort goes into it all, putting the lights up and spending the nights outside saying hello to people, so I think people appreciate that extra effort and the Christmas spirit.”
As for the power bill, Mr Minchell doesn't care.
"It's so worth it.”