January 27, 2023

Dated: 12/12/2022 Christmas fanatic Paul Hutchinson, 33, from Sunderland, who has refused to let energy walks ruin his festive celebrations - and spend hundreds of pounds decorating his home with lights, while his total energy bill is over ?  1,000.  Pictured with son Francis, 5. See story and VIDEO by North News

Paul Hutchinson, 33, makes sure his son Francis has a Christmas to remember (Picture: North News)

A Christmas fanatic refuses to let the crisis in the cost of living spoil his holiday fun this year.

Paul Hutchinson, 33, spreads joy to Sunderland every year by covering his terraced house with twinkling lights.

But rising energy costs mean he now has to spend an extra £11 a day to keep his home lit.

Paul installed the lights on November 6 and took them down on January 2. He estimates it will cost him £637, bringing his total utility bill to £1,044.

“I’ve always lit Christmas lights,” said one child’s father. “The energy company’s price hikes won’t stop me from doing it.

“These companies are stealing Christmas from families, but I am determined to keep the lights on.

Dated: 12/12/2022 Christmas fanatic Paul Hutchinson, 33, from Sunderland, who has refused to let energy walks ruin his festive celebrations - and spend hundreds of pounds decorating his home with lights, while his total energy bill is over ?  1,000.  See story and VIDEO by North News

The Christmas lights are hard to miss (Photo: North News)

Dated: 12/12/2022 Christmas fanatic Paul Hutchinson, 33, from Sunderland, who has refused to let energy walks ruin his festive celebrations - and spend hundreds of pounds decorating his home with lights, while his total energy bill is over ?  1,000.  See story and VIDEO by North News

Paul Hutchinson doesn’t let energy walks spoil his festive fun (Photo: North News)

‘It will cost me £18 a day, instead of £7 a day before the decorations go up. But it’s worth seeing the kid’s faces as they walk by.

“Every child has the right to see Christmas lights and they all love it. People come from all over the northeast to see the lights and I put them up when the council turns their lights on, so it’s part of the show.”

The plumber and heating engineer has also installed a huge Christmas tree in the front yard, complete with shiny reindeer and a life-size nutcracker.

Dated: 12/12/2022 Christmas fanatic Paul Hutchinson, 33, from Sunderland, who has refused to let energy walks ruin his festive celebrations - and spend hundreds of pounds decorating his home with lights, while his total energy bill is over ?  1,000.  Pictured with son Francis, 5. See story and VIDEO by North News

Francis, 5, is a big fan of the lights (Picture: North News)

Dated: 12/12/2022 Christmas fanatic Paul Hutchinson, 33, from Sunderland, who has refused to let energy walks ruin his festive celebrations - and spend hundreds of pounds decorating his home with lights, while his total energy bill is over ?  1,000.  See story and VIDEO by North News

There is even a giant nutcracker outside the house (Photo: Noordnieuws)

He also blasts Christmas carols from loudspeakers for passers-by to enjoy.

Paul says his son Francis, 5, loves hanging baubles on the tree and getting into the Christmas spirit.

“My son loves it,” he added. “As soon as Halloween is over, he wants to put up the Christmas decorations.

‘My father and mother always put Christmas decorations on my place as a child and that is a great experience.

‘I do it for the community, nobody talks to each other anymore and that’s a shame.

“This brings people together and is a conversation starter. We have children posing with the tree in the garden. It’s beautiful to see.’

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