Heartbroken dad decorates home with 40,000 Christmas lights in memory of son, 5

News

A dad said he decorates his house with 40,000 Christmas lights every year in memory of his son who died due to a rare condition at the age of five.

Jason Hoban, 55, attracts hundreds of people to see the lights every night.

Six years ago, the removal man decided to start raising money for children’s hospice Shooting Stars as their cause is close to his heart.

Jason’s son Tommy tragically passed away when he was just five years old due to a rare disorder known as Multiple Sulfatase Deficiency (MSD).

The dad and his wife Lisa said their son liked Christmas lights when he was a child, so the family decided to continue the tradition in his honour after he passed away.

He explained: “Now it’s a tradition for everyone, we’ve been doing it here for 16 years, everyone comes here.

“We’ve seen kids come when they’re little and grow up a bit each year.”

Since Jason learnt about Shooting Stars, he has been raising money for the charity as he said the work they do would have been helpful to his family during Tommy’s illness.

He said: “We raise money for the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, they weren’t open when Tommy was sick but we would have taken him there if they were.

“When I found out about shooting star I thought I’d raise money for them. Since we began we’ve raised £22,000 for them.”

Jason said he starts decorating his house in Feltham, West London, in June, firstly strapping lights to the roof and repainting his Disney-inspired castle.

He added that even though there are about 40,000 lights, it only costs about £10 a night in electricity as he uses LED lights.

Jason said the Christmas decorations are a yearly tradition in his local community and he has never received any complaints because of them.

He explained: “This is part of people’s Christmas now, they come here Christmas Eve with their families and it’s great.

“Every year the number of people visiting grows as the display grows.

“Nobody complains, a lot of them moved in after I did so they’re used to it and they all have kids.

“They make a lot of people happy, we’ve had more people here this year than ever before.”

Another man from Chelmsford, Essex, spent most of November stringing up around 30,000 bulbs on the front and sides of his semi-detached home as part of his “biggest ever” festive display.

Paul Bibby said: “It was hard work doing it all on my own – this year is definitely my biggest.

“People walk past and tell me they have never seen anything like it.

“Little children love to get pictures with the inflatable snowman – he seems to be the most popular.”

Paul – who lives with Linda Cummings, 58, and son Aaron Bibby, 33 – says that since his grand switch-on on December 1, every evening he has to flick 98 individual switches to fully illuminate the display.