Santa letters posted through the door of Derek’s spectacular home

Santa letters posted through the door of Derek’s spectacular home

A HOME in Mirfield is now so synonymous with Christmas that children think Santa lives there.

Derek Highe has created a stunning festive lights display at the property on Robin Royd Avenue  over the last 12 years.

In that time he has raised £28,500 for Kirkwood Hospice and has already added another £1,300 this year.

In recent weeks children aged two to seven have left letters for Santa at Derek’s home.

Each one said they have been a good boy or girl this year, and if Santa has any gifts for them he is welcome to visit.

Father-of-two Derek, 57, denied being Santa himself and joked: “I haven’t got a grotto either.

“But rest assured I’ve forwarded the letters to Santa. It’s a lovely gesture from people and shows the magic we create.”

His display has about 30,000 lights, 10,000 of which are on his main tree in the garden.

Another 10,000 are on his house and there are a further 10,000 lights on smaller trees ,which make up an outdoor woodland scene.

This has mock snow, illuminated reindeers and a colourful Santa waving to passers-by.

And on top of that Derek has a village scene in his porch with Santa flying around on his sledge.

Families flock from miles around to admire the lights and donate to Kirkwood Hospice.

Next year Derek is planning an extra special display with a garden centre – which may feature a box for letters to Santa.

Derek said: “When I realised how much joy the lights give people I decided I’d do them for as long as I can.”

The generosity still staggers Derek, who in just one envelope delivered recently received £143. Other donations come from as far away as Australia.

He said: “That money means so much to Kirkwood Hospice. I just want to thank everyone for their support.”

As well as in person, donations can be made online at www.just giving.com/robinroydxmaslights.

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