ACT News


Family switched on for a special Christmas

ILLUMINATED knee-high candy canes, white flashing reindeer, snowflakes, a neon nativity scene, a glowing Santa, twinkling Christmas trees and rope lights? It must be nearly Christmas lights season.

Last year the Dodd family did not celebrate the silly season and this year Jaine Dodd, 41, and her husband Brett Dodd, 39, are determined to put on a show.

Mr Dodd has installed about 75 per cent of his Christmas lights with more than 3000 already switched on. The turner and fitter by trade said 2011 was a very difficult year as he spent almost 12 months away from his family in Afghanistan on deployment.

''I left on February 12, two days after the twins' second birthday and arrived home seven days before they turned three.''

He said the boys, Darcy and Kobi, were starting to recognise him again.

''When he got back every man who got off the plane was 'daddy','' Mrs Dodd said.


Mr Dodd started decorating his Franklin home last Sunday. Stringing up the lights, which filled three army foot lockers and five large plastic crates, will take three weekends. ''Brett was away serving in Afghanistan so it was quite a solemn Christmas for us for that reason,'' Mrs Dodd said.

''We did nothing. No Christmas lights, only spent it with one family member - it was very quiet. So this year we're making a big bang.'' she said.

''The boys are of that age that they appreciate it. They know about Santa and the story behind Christmas and they love the lights.''

Neighbours have already started to file past the house in the evenings and when December rolls around Mr Dodd will have finished putting up about 4000 LED lights.

''It takes two or three weekends to put it up,'' he said.

Mrs Dodd plans to give chocolates and dress up as Santa to entertain families who come to view the house.

''I enjoy putting it up for everyone else,'' she said.

And the light show will not add to the couple's electricity bill. Mr Dodd has a portable electricity meter.

''All the lights is just 600 watts, that's the same as a toaster.''