Ashley's Christmas wonderland
FOR ALL the Christmas romantics on the Fraser Coast seeing the stunning display at Ashley West’s home is enough to make you blink back tears.
It is like stepping into a sparkling winter wonderland at the North Pole. You would not be surprised if tiny elves excitedly rushed past your feet and carollers stood singing in a corner, their beautiful voices filling every room.
The thousands of decorations that make this Pialba home so special could have you mesmerised all night if you let them.
There is no doubt Ashley has creative flair and seeks perfection but his natural skills have been slightly tweaked over the years.
For four years he worked for Myer and every festive season he spent hours decorating the store’s Christmas shop. He also had the envied task of decorating all of the store trees, which were themed with some carrying up to 500 ornaments.
Ashley stumbled into the job by accident, initially starting with Myer as a casual retail assistant.
One night he went into the Christmas shop after hours and began playing around with the displays. When he was busted management saw how good a job he did and the rest is history.
It has been three years since Ashley worked for Myer but every Christmas he still works his magic.
This year is his first Christmas in Hervey Bay and he went all out with his biggest outdoor and indoor display so far.
There are a couple of thousand ornaments around his home at 28 Craig Crescent in Pialba, including about 800 baubles on one tree and 500 on another.
Eight trees are spread through the house; two are eight feet, two are six feet and the remaining four are four feet.
“This year we really went all out,” he said.
“I just think you do it at Myer but why can’t you do this at home?
“Some people say it doesn’t feel like Christmas but then you go into their homes and it doesn’t look like Christmas.”
It is the first time Ashley has welcomed people into his home, where the decorations also include ribbons, fairy lights and green garland twirling down the staircase railing.
It is a slow process creating the masterpiece, with Ashley starting in the second week of October and finishing it on December 1.
It was a pleasant surprise, he said, to find out the home won Hervey Bay City Residential and came third in the Energy Efficient category in the Chronicle’s Christmas lights competition.
“It is just lovely to do this to share with the public.
“It is a lot of work but I love doing it.
“Christmas is a time to celebrate.”