IT was a case of Lights, Christmas, Action at one Macroom house on December 1st.
That’s when Donal and Peggy O’Callaghan of Codrum switched on their legendary annual Christmas light display of hundreds upon thousands of individual bulbs, flying Santas, a snow machine and a life-sized crib.
The couple started decorating the outside of their house at Christmas around 40 years ago and Donal reckons they were among the first in the country to do so.
Then around 20 years ago, when they had amassed an impressive collection, they introduced a fundraising element for Macroom Hospital, the local senior citizens group and Marymount Hospice.
This year they are donating to Simon in conjunction with Fr John Keane in Macroom. Grandchildren Ellie May and Holly helped them this year and lots of their displays have come from the US as one of their five children, Deirdre, lives in Boston. She recovered from open heart surgery two years ago and next year her parents plan to donate to the Irish Heart Foundation.
‘We don’t even think about the ESB bill,’ joked Donal. ‘It’s all about the kids and their gobsmacked faces when they see it all.’
Meanwhile, the house of Brian and Eleanor McGee in Kealkil village is equally as legendary.
The couple have been decorating their house and garden for the past 20 years with proceeds going to the Care of the Aged in Bantry this year.