​Family Cover House In 20,000 Christmas Lights - Just To P*ss Off A Neighbour

There's getting into the Christmas spirit, then there's covering your home with 20,000 fairy lights - as Michael and Lyn Farnes have done, turning their home in Hove, East Sussex, into something of a winter wonderland.

In the last 16 years, they've spent around £10,000 ($13,000) on 20,000 Christmas lights - and the electricity bills that come with running them - on creating the vision.

According to Lyn, over time they've also raised thousands of pounds for charity each year. However, it didn't start out with such good-willed intentions, with Lyn admitting that originally it was to piss off a neighbour.

Credit: PA

"It all started with us putting up some icicle lights," Lyn told the Metro. "Our former next-door neighbour had a little moan about it."

"So the next year Michael put a few more lights up than before as a joke to wind him up and it carried on from there. I think he didn't mind them in the end and found it funny.

"I've seen the film Deck The Halls, I suppose it's a bit like that."

For those of you that haven't seen Deck the Halls, it stars Danny Devito as an ambitious dad who wants his Christmas lights to be so awesome that you can see them from space - with Matthew Broderick as his uptight neighbour. Fingers crossed the Farnes family aren't aiming quite that high - just imagine those electricity bills.

Credit: Deck The Halls / 20th Century Fox

Michael and Lyn juggle the display around their full time jobs at Sainsbury's and looking after their three children, and Michael said he now starts planning everything in January, when he has to check to see if any repairs are needed.

He also spends months planning his chosen theme for the forthcoming year as a lot of pieces are made by hand. This year features not only a herd of reindeer, but also a North Pole scene complete with polar bears, penguins and an icy waterfall - all of which joins returning favourites like 60 Santas and snowmen, eight Christmas trees, a sleigh and a wishing well. Festive music is played on loop, too.

Credit: PA

"It's great listening to the children outside when they come and visit - they get so excited," Lyn added. "All of this is for the children."

"Michael loves Christmas and really enjoys putting it all together. The enjoyment comes from seeing all the children smiling."

It all looks pretty trippy, but then Christmas has never been known for its understatement, has it?

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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