#Christmas #fun #fundraising #hospicecare #community
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, so the lyrics of the famous yuletide song go and, in this year of all years, we can all do with some seasonal cheer.
So, we were delighted at Wirral Hospice St John’s when neighbours at Templemore Road in Oxton decided to add support to our Wirral Christmas Lights Trail, while showcasing the extra special effort they’ve been putting into decorating the outside of their homes for a number of years now.
We spoke to Ian and Nina from Templemore about the road’s annual lights fest and their, in effect, open-air Grottoes which have been attracting sightseers from all over Wirral this year.
“As a family, Christmas has always been a pretty big deal for us and we’ve always gone a bit OTT with the Christmas lights.
Our friends of over 30 years, Dave and Alison, who live a couple of doors away, and our, now grown up, children really look forward to the Christmas ‘lights-off’. (Well, ‘lights-on’ actually!)
Ian and Dave are especially competitive so it has become a bit of a thing about who can outshine the other. They’re like big kids at this time of year but we know it’s just a bit of fun at the end of the day. Over the years many other neighbours have also shown their support and are becoming more and more involved.
As Ian is an engineer by trade, he thoroughly enjoys designing and making his own creations. Dave, in turn, acquires every Christmas inflatable he can find, including massive Santa’s, polar bears, penguins, reindeer, bells, Christmas trees, snow scenes and thousands of twinkling lights!
Stuck between the competing families are neighbours, Will and family, who have been caught in the crossfire and now just think, ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’.
So now, and for the past seven years since we moved into Templemore, the number of neighbours joining in has steadily grown.
During this year’s lockdowns, the road formed a supportive and friendly WhatsApp group and the ‘chat’ since summertime was about going all out for Christmas to bring a bit of cheer to the whole neighbourhood after this challenging year.
Then, in November we spotted that Wirral Hospice St Johns were promoting a Wirral Christmas Lights Trail and the whole group agreed that many people in the area have personally experienced the care and support of our hospice and that it was the ideal charity for us all to get behind.
Now, with the story having been picked up by the Wirral Globe and with social media support from the hospice, and many others, we have hordes of families, every single evening walking up and down the road.
Cars form queues at busy times. But everyone keeps a social-distance and it is wonderful for us to see so many happy, smiling faces. (Although sincere apologies to those having to pack their toddlers back into the car, crying because they want to stay longer!)
It has really lifted the spirits. The roads adjoining ours are also getting in on the act and we know many more around Wirral are too, which is so heartwarming to see. With people also making their kind donations to Wirral Hospice St Johns it makes it all the more worthwhile.”
Lovely sentiments from Nina and Ian, all their friends and neighbours, and now, of course, all the other people who are joining in these festive celebrations.
At the hospice we are truly grateful to everyone in our whole Wirral ‘family’ as we say to them, sincerely,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good ‘light’!
NB: In a year when many events have been cancelled it’s heartening to know our Wirral community are finding many innovative ways to help their local hospice.
With the impetus from our friends at Templemore Road the Wirral Christmas Lights Trail has really taken off with over 50 different households all around Wirral now taking part in the festive celebration.
You can find out more about the trail here www.wirralhospice.org/lightstrail And, if you can, please make your kind donations to the campaign here www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wirralchristmaslights