IT’S that time of the year again.
Christmas cheer is all around, the streets are packed with festive shoppers and decorations are starting to adorn living rooms throughout the region.
There are some who take their celebrations the extra mile – turning their houses and gardens into shrines to the festive period.
One Wrexham mother is hoping her dazzling array of Christmas light decorations will raise money to help her son walk again.
Nine-year-old Riccardo Doloto, from Jeffreys Road, Borras Park, Wrexham, was diagnosed with diplegic cerebral palsy as a baby.
The keen Wrexham football fan cannot walk unaided as the condition means he has no balance, but he dreams of one day being able to play the game just like his friends.
Riccardo’s mother, Franca, faces a £60,000 bill and a trip to the US for her son to have the micro-nuerosurgery, selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), which will hopefully help him walk.
She has fully decked out her garden with decorations and lights.
Franca said: “I love Christmas and I love my decorations.
“I have a pot in the garden which people can donate to if they would like.
“I must say so far it has been doing pretty well.”
So far, through fundraising, Franca has raised £10,000 towards the surgery in just a few months and hopes she can reach £20,000 by the end of the year.
“You want to do the best for your children,” she said.
“I even heard him praying to be able to walk and I just need to make this happen for him.”
Another group of neighbours are hoping to raise money for Riccardo with their Christmas display.
Three houses on Pentre Street, Llay, have already raised nearly £200 with their festive decorations.
Hayley Williams, who lives in one of the houses, said: “We raised £160 on Sunday.
“We had about 100 people come along and see us switch the lights on.”
In Flintshire grandmother Kath Williams has been decorating her cottage with Christmas decorations for about 30 years.
Despite the devastating loss of her daughter, Paula Piercy, who died aged 46 while on holiday earlier this year, Kath said she wanted to continue with the decorations.
She said: “She would go mad if she found out I wasn’t doing it.
“We can’t cancel Christmas.
“I just love Christmas. I have decorations in the garden and on the fences and inside the house.
“The kids around here call it the Christmas house.”
Mrs Williams’ love for Christmas looks to have passed through the generations.
Her son, Mark, has also decorated his Connah’s Quay home with a festive display.
The father-of-two said: “It’s the only time of the year where you get to show some festive spirit.
“The kids love it. They look forward to it every year.
“My wife, Emma, has told me that she has seen a lot of people coming past and taking pictures of it.”
Dawn Hughes, who lives on Parc Hendy in Mold, has been lighting up her home for more than two decades.
She said: “I have lights all over the front of the house, the side of the house, on the garage and in the back.
“The kids come on Halloween and start asking when the lights are going to go up.”
l Have you gone the extra mile decorating your home for the festive season? Email your pictures with your name, address and contact telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org