Festive cheer lights the way
FOR many families, the festive season marks a battle of the best lights.
For Bilambil Heights couple Madonna and Mark Goulding, their stunning Christmas lights display signifies much more.
They have been decorating their home for six years, and their collection of lights has grown in that time, but this year they're dressing up as Santa and Mrs Claus to raisemoney for cancer research.
Their son, Markus, dresses up as an elf to help out.
Ms Goulding said it was a cause close to their hearts, as her husband had lost both his parents to the disease - his mother passing away on December 30 last year.
"It's a little bit special if we can just raise enough to help a bit," Ms Goulding said.
She hoped they could make fundraising for various charities a yearly ritual.
"This is our first year, but we would like to continue it," she said.
"There's always someone in need of help."
While December is a time of financial hardship for many, Ms Goulding said she was pleased with the generosity displayed over their two weekends collecting so far.
"Once people read what we're doing they're more than happy to donate," she said.
"We feel really honoured that people are actually taking the time to read the letter (from the Cancer Council) and donate.
"I know money is tight this time of year but people have really big hearts."
Ms Goulding said it took eight days to set up the lights and 10 days to test.
While it's great fun to dress up and admire their own lights, the biggest reward is the response from the community.
"It's not us that get the reward out of this, it's seeing the kids come up and their little faces light up," Ms Goulding said.
The Gouldings will dress up and collect funds every night until Wednesday.