Later this month local residents Steven Lonsdale will start the huge job of creating what has become a symbol of a Sunbury Christmas.
Steven and wife Tracey moved to Sunbury 17 years ago and brought with them their tradition of decorating their house with Christmas lights. We are not talking about just a tree, or the eves, but the whole of the front of the house. You must have seen it. Everyone in Sunbury knows it as the ‘Christmas House’.
When I arranged to go and visit this autumn I had to ask the actual address on Green Street because I didn’t recognise the house without all the lights.
Last year was the first time they used the opportunity of raising money for charity and collected donations of around £2000 which was donated to Shooting Star Chase. This year the call went out on social media. The couple was looking at using their Christmas House to support local causes. Two local charities kept on coming up so by popular support this year’s lucky recipients will be the Charley Paige Trust and Alfie the Champ.
You will have read about the Charley Paige Trust in Sunbury Matters over the years. The charity supports children will life limiting illnesses and takes its name from Charley who lost her battle with leukemia at only 5 years old. Alfie Ward is the Sunbury Manor school boy who is currently battling neuroblastoma and who is having to raise £600,000 to enable him to have treatment in the USA because the UK will not offer it. Recently the Post Office burglary saw callous thieves steal the proceeds of the collections for Alfie.
Steven and Tracey Lonsdale are private people. They simply love Christmas and the anticipation of the big day. They are very family oriented and the joy the lights on the house bring to their little ones has translated to a genuine desire to spread that good will and make people happy. “The world is a dark place” said Tracey “ so let’s lighten it up a little”. Well they have certainly managed to do that. The tradition has passed on to the next generation, as well as to neighbours along that part of Green Street. It has to be seen to be believed. Word spreads far and wide and families travel with their children to take it all in. “people knock on the door to tell us how much their children love it” says Tracey. The couple also receive cards regularly with thanks for the joy they spread.
This year you will be able to donate to support the chosen charities by JustGiving. If you are passing and want to do it the traditional way, Tracey and Steven will accept cash and put the amount directly against the JustGiving site while you are there. Every penny will go to the chosen causes. “We are Sunbury people and love this village.” said Tracey. “It is right that we support local charities”.
We will be putting the full information about how to donate to the two causes in the December issue when the Christmas House will be lit up once more!