Doorway to winter wonderland opens
WHEN you step inside Carol Cross's home in Emerald, you are greeted with the jingle of Christmas music in sync with miniature people skating around an ice rink beside a horse and cart sprinkled in snow.
A windmill spins, snowmen are smiling and a merry-go-round turns to the tune.
You have not been transported to the North Pole, but instead you are standing in Carol's Jeppeson Dr residence.
Carol has been adding Christmas cheer to her home for about eight years and has stepped it up with a winter wonderland village just as you step foot in the door.
"All through the year we collect trinkets and then my husband and I start putting it together - it takes about a month to just do the village," Carol said.
A lot of the decorations are handmade, with chocolate moulds used to house small plants in snow and paddle pop sticks forming a fence.
"We enjoy creating things and setting up the house," Carol said.
"I never have a rhyme or reason, we just start to put things out.
"Everyone who visits says the same thing - they can't believe it - and when they drive past to look at the lights out the front, they walk in and say they've stepped into a winter wonderland."
The rest of Carol's home, inside and out, is full of festive cheer, with Santa's sleigh, tinsel and lights strung up from doorway to ceiling.
Carol said she grew up in a family where Christmas traditions were cherished.
"Beryl Callaghan (previous winner of Light Up the Town) is my mother, so you could say I've been brought up around Christmas," she said with a smile.
"I really do love Christmas. It's such a beautiful time of the year and I guess my vivid imagination just runs away with it."