INTERACTIVE MAP: Gympie's 2020 Christmas lights displays
FOR more than a decade one Gympie grandma has been lighting her house up for the holidays, but this could be the last year she is able to transform her yard into a Christmas wonderland.
Karen Grills loves Christmas, and has been going all out with festive decorations and lights at her Southside home for 14 years, which have attracted people from across the region.
"I've been doing it for so long," she said.
"There's kids who have been coming since they were three years old who now are grown and bring their boyfriends or girlfriends to have a look."
Mrs Grills said the planning for her display starts in October, and by December 1 the lights are ready to turn on.
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Each night until Boxing Day she turns her lights on from 6:30pm and welcomes families to explore the different lights, music, and rooms set up with toys and activities for kids.
This year she has added a new section in her shed for kids to play with, complete with teddy bears, light up cottages and a functional model train.
"I'll be giving out wrapped lollipops, it'll be up to parents if they want to take them this year," she said.
She usually turns off the display at 9pm, but said she will stay up for as long as visitors are there.
Mrs Grills will be making the most of it this year, as it may be her last time putting on a display, a least for a little while.
"I have to stop for medical reasons, which is a bummer," she said.
"I love it, a million people come and look.
"But I'm not saying never.
"I just love people, and children, and I love Christmas time.
"I started when my two were younger, now they're 40-odd, then we moved to Gympie and I've been doing it for 14 years."
She is also proud of the community for continuing the tradition each year, and said she has seen some "gorgeous" displays by younger families around town.
"The newbies are doing beautiful jobs," she said.
"It's like we're passing the baton on to the new ones.
"If you look on Gympie Christmas Lights Facebook page you'll see they are starting to post and they're gorgeous.
"The light's are not going to die in Gympie too soon."
Mrs Grills had some advice for people thinking about starting their own displays.
"It's so easy to do if you just add to it slowly each year," she said.
"Once you've got it [lights], it's not expensive as they're yours to keep using.
"Only do what you can afford, otherwise you'll land in hot water.
"The people of Gympie are fantastic, everybody loves to see the lights, and you never get anyone who doesn't give you a boost.
"They've made me enjoy it even more."
Head to 20 Leonard Street, Southside to see Mrs Grills and her beautiful display from December 1.
Make sure to join the Gympie Christmas Lights Facebook page to keep up to date with which streets will be lit up this year, and also check out our interactive map with sneak previews of some of this year's displays.
Where to see the best Christmas lights in the Gympie region:
20 Leonard Street, Southside
46 Ridgeview Drive, Gympie
18 Bond Drive, Southside
19 Bond Drive, Southside
1/5 Pandanus Street, Gympie
34 Horseshoe Bend, Gympie
4 Majestic Place, Jones Hill
24 Ranson Road, Gympie
13 Pine Street, Gympie
13 Corbet Road, Jones Hill
Hester Street, Kilkivan
4 Main Street, Gympie
2/41 Ranson Road, Gympie
1 Dalee Street, Jones Hill
23 Church Street, Gympie
179 Rifle Range Road, Gympie
12 Cogan Street, Gympie
16 Barton Street, Gympie
27 Woolgar Road, Gympie
50 Barton Road, Gympie
81 Judicial Circuit, Jones Hill
9 Daisy Court, Gympie
638 North Deep Creek Road
17 Sproule Road, Gympie
15 Beresford Crescent, Gympie
52 Clematis Street, Gympie
2 Columbia Street, Gympie
30 Myall Street, Gympie
4 Widgee Crossing Road, Gympie
87 Gympie View Drive, Southside
49 Samantha Drive, Pie Creek