There might still be a bit of a debate around whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie but one man is firmly on the ‘yes’ side.
Danny Hargreaves, 42, from Cardiff, has created a festive tribute to the movie and some of his other favourites in his front garden in Llandaff – complete with a crashed helicopter and fake snow.
The film lover owns a special effects company called Real SFX who are responsible for creating the special effects in shows such as Doctor Who and Peaky Blinders.
Other aspects of the display include nods to The Grinch, Gremlins, Home Alone and National Lampoon.
He’s been going all out with Halloween and Christmas decorations for the last five or six years but this year he really took it up a notch.
Usually he goes away over Christmas but as he’ll be staying at home because of the pandemic, he wanted to go all out.
With the help of his family, he spent the last few weeks turning the house into a winter spectacular to try and spread some festive cheer and raise some money for charity.
He’s been fitting the set up around other commitments and has often had to add to it after it’s got dark so he’s neighbours got a bit of a shock waking up to find a huge helicopter appeared in the garden.
Danny said his love of film and TV – as well as a few favours from friends in the industry – have helped to make the house so spectacular this year.
He said: ‘I’ve always loved Christmas and Halloween and with everything going on this year we decided to embrace it more than ever.
‘When we did the Halloween house and raised over £5,000 I knew we were going to have to do something for Christmas.
‘I work in film and TV so it was natural for me to choose a film theme so I thought why not take some of my favourite Christmas films and do a bit of a homage to them.’
Danny thinks the display has been a fit and has helped to make people smile as they pass by.
‘I think we all need a bit of a smile on our face at the moment,’ he said.
‘I think this Christmas everyone is a bit unsure of what’s going on so I just wanted to bring some joy to people in a difficult time.
‘The reaction has been really positive so far. I have to say I think a few children were late for school this week for looking at it but I have to say everyone has loved it.
‘It’s actually taken me longer than the Halloween house.
‘I’ve been busier recently so it has taken a few weeks.
‘I’ve been out decorating at like 11pm so hope the neighbours haven’t minded too much. I haven’t even fully finished yet.’
He decided to use it as an opportunity to raise money for the charity Dreams and Wishes, which works to support terminally ill children.
Danny added: ‘What we are trying to do is encourage a donation to this charity that will make kids smile as well.
‘Many charities this year are really struggling too so by doing this we can really help them – and it saves me having to run a marathon to raise money.
‘It would be good if it could inspire some others to also think about creative ways of raising money for charity.
‘I’ve been doing it for the last few years but this has been the first year I have raised money for charity by doing it so that sort of gave me some incentive to go bigger and better than ever.’
When asked if the decorating will continue to this extent every year, Danny said: ‘I’m not sure if it will be an every year thing but I think at this point I sort of have to don’t I?
‘It can only get bigger but I’ve got a whole year to think about that.’
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