Family tradition lights up Christmas spirit in Reid
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Family tradition lights up Christmas spirit in Reid

Every year, Scott McAlister says it will be the final time he puts up Christmas lights at his Reid home.

But egged on by his three daughters, Mr McAlister has brought Christmas cheer to the inner north suburb every year since 2005.

Lindsay McAlister, left, with her father Scott McAlister at their house in Reid, lit up for Christmas.

Lindsay McAlister, left, with her father Scott McAlister at their house in Reid, lit up for Christmas.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

Mr McAlister said from his vantage point on Currong Street, the Christmas spirit was alive and well.

But the Christmas light display had a corny start, he said.

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"It'll sound corny, but it was the classic case. The kids were rather young and we were going past one of those Christmas type shops and they wanted a Santa and a sleigh and rope light thing, so we bought that and something else," he said.

"It just grew from there. Each year they wanted to make it a little bit bigger."

Scott and Lindsay McAlister show letters and cards they received from children in the area saying how much the Christmas lights were appreciated.

Scott and Lindsay McAlister show letters and cards they received from children in the area saying how much the Christmas lights were appreciated.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

Only two of Mr McAlister's now adult daughters are left at home to help with the display. Lindsay, 25, and Georgia, 18, still helped their dad with the display, which took two or three days to assemble.

"It's not one of these displays like down in Bonner or Kambah. It's just a family putting a few bits and pieces up over a few days," Mr McAlister said. "There's nothing in the inner north like they do in Gungahlin."

But each year from inside the house the family heard kids giggling and enjoying the only Christmas lights on display in Reid, he said.

Mr McAlister said he received letters from children every year saying how much they enjoyed the display and families brought their children to look at the lights on Christmas Eve.

Christmas lights at the McAlister house in Reid.

Christmas lights at the McAlister house in Reid. Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

But the lights would go out one last time if they were vandalised, he said.

"I've said to the kids if [the display] ever gets vandalised or stuff gets stolen, we'll give it away. But for 13 years we've never had an issue."

Mr McAlister said it was amazing no one had vandalised the display. "It's a fairly busy street at we're close to Civic at night," he said.

But Mr McAlister said the display of Christmas lights was a "lighthearted break" from the issues of the world and it wasn't just the young kids who enjoyed it.

The display will be lit up on Christmas Eve and every night until the end of the year, he said.

Jasper is a reporter for The Canberra Times.

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