Houses lighting up Shropshire with Christmas cheer
It's that time of year when the twinkly lights come out – and the electricity bill goes soaring.
The start of December has heralded the arrival of houses lit and decorated for the festive season.
And for some it has become something of a sport, competing with neighbours for bragging rights.
One father of three from Shropshire has decided to bring a bit of Christmas spirit to his community by covering his house with around 40 sets of different festive lights.
Gareth Nicholas, 29, from Donnington, Telford, said that this is not the first year he has done this to help get his children and the neighbours into the Christmas spirit.
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Mr Nicholas said the community really like seeing the house lit up, and it brings a lot of Christmas spirit to the neighbourhood.
Gareth, who is a decorator and landscaper, said: "I decided to bring a bit of Christmas spirit to the area, and it's also something for the kids to enjoy.
"They are really looking forward to Christmas now especially with the lights and starting their advent calendars this month.
"The neighbours love it as well, and it is really helping them to feel festive, but I mainly do it for the kids because they love it so much," he said.
The lights include a Father Christmas and his reindeers, snowmen and Christmas trees, and cover the front and back of the house.
But they come at a price, both to buy the equipment to start with and then in running costs.
Gareth said: "I have done it for the last few years but I have never had as many lights as this year.
" I have between 36 and 43 all over the house - it cost me about £600 to 700 to buy all the lights, and it costs me between five and seven pounds extra a week to run."
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