The Great Aussie Street Party

Take a drive around your suburb and beyond throughout December and you’re guaranteed to stumble across a few streets that are completely lit up and embracing the community spirit of Christmas. Howard’s customer Felicity spoke with us about living amongst a street that takes ‘street party’ to new heights and explains how she and her young family get involved…

The best part of December is…

Our street. Without realising it, my husband and I bought a home in a ‘Christmas light street’. We moved in on the 1st November and within a week of being in our new residence we’d received a “reminder” letter that it was “lights on” come 1st December. Uncertain as to whether we dip our toes in and hang a fairy light or go the whole hog and give Rusty Griswold a run for his money we settled on somewhere safely in the middle. Glad we did. Come the first Saturday in December hundreds of neighbours milled around the street sipping champagne, guarding kids from the passing cars waiting with baited breath for daylight savings to steal the sun for the evening so we could all flick our lights on.

How do you join the street party?

We convert our front lawn into an outdoor cinema for our kids and their mates. We provide the movie (thanks to a projector a friend brought up back from over seas and a trusty white bed sheet which acts as the ‘screen’) and its BYO beanbag for the kids. Of course the front of the house is decorated with lights as well. Combine the balmy summer evenings with the sound of cicadas and a good kids Christmas movie and it’s a pretty great way to spend an evening. We usually set up a movie every Friday night in December.

The best part of living in a “lit up” street is…      

The camaraderie amongst our neighbours is amazing. Truth be told, setting up the lights can be hard work. Much as we all love the outcome, the weekend before December is guaranteed to be steaming hot (well it certainly has been for the past 7 years!); climbing ladders and trees in the beating hot sun is made all the more easy when you look down the street and across the road and see everyone doing the same thing. We all have a laugh about it. The kids get involved too. Once the lights are up and December is in full swing, there’s always a group of neighbours milling about and ready for a catch up.

Over the years of hanging Christmas lights, you’ve learnt…

To test your lights before hanging them! Always plug your lights into a power socket to test them. One year we spent hours decorating trees in our front yard; once finished we turned the lights on only to find half of them had blown! That was a rookie error!

Your one “can’t do without” item when hanging lights is

A few packets of cable ties! They’ll hug your string lights to tree-branches, your front fence, decking board, you name it; they’re super cheap and incredibly effective. What’s more when it’s time to pack up at the end of December, they’re great for keeping your lights neat and tidy.

The best way to organise a Christmas street party is to…

Do a letterbox drop to invite everyone! It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply choose a date (the first weekend in December is often a good one; the weather is balmy and the festive cheer is in the air), ask everyone to bring along a share plate and set up a trestle table on a willing neighbours front lawn for your platters and drinks.

Like to make this Christmas different? See our Christmas Catalogue! Click here.

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