Sunderland home turns Christmas wonderland

Jan Sykes with her son, Lee outside her house in Parkhurst Road which has been decorated with Christmas lights.
Jan Sykes with her son, Lee outside her house in Parkhurst Road which has been decorated with Christmas lights.
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A WEARSIDE home has already been transformed into a Christmas wonderland.

The house on Parkhurst Road, Pennywell, boasts an array of eye-catching festive lights and ornaments to the front and back.

Jan Sykes with her son, Lee outside her house in Parkhurst Road which has been decorated with Christmas lights.

Jan Sykes with her son, Lee outside her house in Parkhurst Road which has been decorated with Christmas lights.

“I just love Christmas,” said Jan Sykes, who lives there with her husband Sid and son Lee, 26, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

“Lee loves it. It helps him meet lots of people.

“I like to do it for everybody, because it gets people into the Christmas spirit. It’s great to see children coming along to enjoy them.

“It takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s completely worth it,” added Jan, 54, whose festive spirit could come from being born on Christmas Day.

Retired Sid, who is responsible for rigging it all up, said: “Jan doesn’t encourage me – she bullies me into doing it. She stands there giving me directions.”

The collection, which includes Santas, snowmen and reindeers, attracts a lot of interest, with children under-12 able to post their Christmas letters in a special postbox – to which Santa sends out a reply.

The family have been giving their home its seasonal makeover since 2004, when they won the Echo’s Christmas lights competition – donating their winnings to help victims of the Indian Ocean Boxing Day tsunami.

Last year the lights remained in their boxes, due to building work, but they are back this winter – to the delight of other residents.

“I think it’s just lovely,” said Linda Willmott, who lives nearby.

“I think it’s wonderful that they do it. They are very selfless because it takes a lot of time, effort and money.

“My grandchildren are thrilled and want to keep going back to see the house time and time again.

“It’s amazing the amount of cars that stop in the street to look.”

Twitter: @SunEchoSteven