2014: Annus Horribilus


Full time elf
Sep 7, 2012
Heathwood Qld
The title says it all really. Everything that could go wrong in a year, has gone wrong. I won't go into detail because there's just too much and I'm trying not to think about it. Suffice to say, as I type this, my golden retriever is undergoing $2,000 worth of emergency surgery. Our other dog passed away back in June.

There were so many arguments...no all out brawls, after last years' lights, that we decided we weren't going to do lights this year. In 2013, we spent way more than we could afford on lights. That included over $1,500 building the sleigh. Hanging around outside every night was exhausting and my wife has since been diagnosed with severe arthritis in her ankle, making it almost impossible for her to stand in one spot for more than a few minutes.

Then on Halloween, a complete stranger came up to us during a community event in the local park and hugged us and said that our lights bring so much joy to her, her family and friends. That was followed by neighbours asking if we were doing lights and expressing disappointment when we said no. So, we decided to do lights again this year, but with no changes from last year. After an endless stream of huge unexpected bills, we simply don't have any money to buy anything new. That's devastating, because we always try to add new elements each year. This year, it's just not possible.

I spent all day Sunday testing every light string to see if they still worked. The lights on the roof weren't taken down until early March (just one of the fights), so I expected most of them would be dead. To my complete surprise, they weren't. Out of 21 strings I tested, only three had failures. One short string had no blue or yellow lights, so that's probably a simple broken wire. Our garage door curtain had two strings out, again due to obvious broken wires (which we knew about). Finally, the longest string, which was on the main part of the roof, had numerous faulty lights on about half its length (about 17 metres). Luckily, I have a 20 metre string I bought last year as a spare, so we can just chop it off and replace it. Our 3.6 metre tree, which survived four Christmases has also pretty much died and we can't afford to replace it, so it will leave a huge hole in the display.

I would have really loved to be making the switch this year to RGB and adding a megatree (if anyone has a spare they're not using, let me know), but with the bank account at an all time low and no end sight to the nightmare of 2014, we'll just have to suck it up and do the best we can. I just hope our motivation will kick in soon and our visitors are none the wiser.

Roll on 2105.


Back again
Dec 5, 2012
Swansea, NSW
Hang in there Marc. Life has a way of throwing **** at you at times. Last year was my first year at a little show and I loved it. Seeing the smiling faces brightened things for me like you wouldn't believe. 2013 saw my son undergo Radiation Therapy for a brain tumor which had returned. On the 4th December I lost my job (that was a great Xmas prezzy). But each little smile lifted me. I'm sure your audience loved your show and your sleigh last year. I'm sure you will get a great kick out of sharing your show with everyone again.


I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
Apr 26, 2010
Albion Park NSW
When you are having so much negativity in your life, then nothing better to help make things seem a little better than doing a display and getting comments of appreciation. Your luck will change for the better before you know it


LOR user
Nov 8, 2011
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Due to time restrictions 2012 & 13 were actually smaller displays than 2011. I don't think any body cared except me.
They all liked the lights and was glad I did them. Just as things turned bad for you, things will get better again. Hang in there and let the lights shine. Lights will put a smile on your face as well. ;)


Full time elf
Oct 12, 2011
Hang in there. In the last 12 months I separated from my wife, lost my grandparents, lost an uncle, then a mate was killed tragically, then I lost my job and was feeling pretty down with things. Work through each day and things will get better. Try and take a positive from every event.
How do you take a positive from someone dying you may ask? I saw how much my cousins missed my uncle when he died and it made me realise the importance of being a good dad for my son and doing more to build the best relationship I can with him.
My lost job has given me the break I needed. I've been out of work for 8 weeks and this is the longest break I have ever had from work since I was 16. (I'm 46) I have been able to get things done at my own pace and recharge my batteries.
Take these small positives and it makes it easier to deal with the challenges that are thrown at you.

I wish you the best for the future and your lights will be great no matter what. You may notice a gap where the tree is missing but you audience wont notice and will just love the display regardless.