A mum has gone all out to cheer up her kids and neighbours by putting up her CHRISTMAS decorations three months early – including 3,000 outdoor lights.
Caroline Gabe, 46, has been shielding with her children since March – and said putting up her tree and decorations in September was a much-needed boost.
She has spent the year buying outdoor lights and installations – from as far away as America – and put them all up last week, on a whim.
Almost all of them are outside – including 3,000 fairy lights, sparkling snow, an 8ft inflatable snowman, as well as Santa and his reindeer.
And in the living room, kids Jack, 23, Harry, 12 and Theo, five, now have a full-size artificial tree with fake snow to see them through the rest of the year.
Former care worker Caroline said some people have driven past her semi-detached home in Caewern, Port Talbot, Wales, and shaken their heads in disapproval.
But she doesn’t care one bit – and said many of her neighbours have thanked her for being Christmas cheer to the street.
Caroline – who had to give up work to shield – has been under strict lockdown since March because son Theo has severe asthma after a pneumonia battle last year.
She said: “I’ve had so many people talk to me about them. It has blown me away.
“It’s just been something nice in a horrible and surreal year.
“I just thought it would brighten the community up.
“I’ve got two younger children and it has really put a smiles our faces.
“Every year I am always early with the Christmas decorations. But this is even early for me.
“Since March me and the children have been shielding – we haven’t been as far as the park – and I’ve got to admit it has been a gloomy year.
“I thought ‘bugger it’ – I’m going to get the decorations up.
“The kids were smiling. People were coming up to the house and smiling. It has been lovely.
“Christmas is a fantastic time of year – even in September.”
Almost all of the decorations are currently displayed outside the house, and Caroline estimated she had around 3,000 lights strung up.
There is also an 8ft tree, snowman and reindeer, a 6ft Santa, and lights all over the grass, made to look like sparkling snow.
She has a festive T-Rex on order from America, which will arrive later in the month, and the artificial tree is up inside too.
The stay at home mum estimated she’d spent just under £1,000 on the decorations, which she has been collecting for months.
It took her around eight hours to put them up last Monday (7).
She added: “The neighbours, they think I’m crackers.
“The majority of them love it. You get the odd car going past and you see them shaking their head, but I just laugh. It makes me want to put more up!
“It’s ridiculous what we are all going through. It can get you down. I’ve been so anxious, but as soon as I put the decorations up, it just lifted my spirits.
“It’s just a bit of normality; crazy normality mind, putting your decorations up in September.”