MY STORY | Why I decorated my street with Christmas displays

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Danielle Goff decorated her street, Moray Drive in Bryanston, Johannesburg, with eye- catching Christmas displays. (PHOTO: Supplied)
Danielle Goff decorated her street, Moray Drive in Bryanston, Johannesburg, with eye- catching Christmas displays. (PHOTO: Supplied)

For the past few years, Danielle Goff from in Bryanston in Johannesburg has dressed up her house – and her street – with beautiful Christmas decorations.

The 45-year-old bookkeeper typically spends months planning the colourful displays all so she can spread the joy to her community.

Danielle tells YOU why she loves the festive season so much. 

“My husband, Shaun, loves Christmas. He started this tradition in our home 16 years ago.

Shaun and I are both originally from Cape Town, where families flock to Adderley Street and Somerset West to see the Christmas decorations light up the streets.

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Danielle really gets a head start on her project: she bought some of her decorations last November. (PHOTO: Supplied)

I remember when I was a new mom, I was so excited to take our children to see Santa at night. It was a great time.

When we moved homes more than 20 years ago, we wanted to bring the same spirit to Johannesburg.

I started decorating my street in September.

I set up everything myself while my husband helped with the electrical work.

There’s a lot to do so I have done a little bit whenever I get a chance.

Sometimes I worked until the early hours of the morning because every bauble must be glued onto each tree, then cemented so that the wind doesn’t blow it away.   

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Danielle's husband, Shaun, built the gingerbread houses for their annual display. (PHOTO: Supplied)

Each year I do what I call a day and night version.

The day version is for decorations that don’t need lighting.

But to be honest, adults and children enjoy both versions. 

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The mom of three got the inspiration for the gingerbread houses on social media. (PHOTO: Supplied)

Dressing up the street takes a lot of planning, time and money. 

I started shopping for this year’s decorations in November last year. 

Thank goodness for the internet – I get most of my ideas from Pinterest and follow a lot of American pages that specialise in Christmas decorations.

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Young and old come from all over to see the festive street decorations. (PHOTO: Supplied)

Although I am a shopaholic, I always look for bargains, especially online.

What I can’t afford, I make.

This year I handcrafted my wreaths and baubles, it truly is a labour of love.

I have snowmen, lights, an elfie station for people to take pictures, a gingerbread house, angels, decorated palm trees and just anything festive.

There’s also a letterbox for mail to Santa and it’s already full. 

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She usually starts putting the decorations up in September. (PHOTO: Supplied)

Reading people’s wishes is the best part of my job, some of them are so sweet and simply want to wish Santa well.

Every year I get to meet all sorts of incredible people and even international visitors.

Some have heart-breaking stories.

One man lost his wife last year due to Covid-19 complications and this year he lost his job.

My decorations are a joyful upliftment to him, and others like him.

There is also an elderly couple who came by twice a week.

And then there are the parents who love bringing their children to see all the decorations.

It warms my heart to see people drop by at different times of the day.

This year's theme is centred around Danielle's silver anniversay. (PHOTO: Supplied)

I am truly passionate about spreading the Christmas cheer and take my commitment as Mrs Claus seriously.

This year I did a lot of silver decorations because it is my silver anniversary.

On 24 December my husband and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

Recently, we had cyclists from the Ride Joburg mountain bike event riding down our road – what an incredible atmosphere and feeling.

This year marks their 25th edition and I included a lot of 25 signs for them to see. The vibe and compliments were electrifying.

By the time they reached our street they were tired, and the Christmas decorations, they say, boosted their mood. 

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She enjoys decorating by herself. Her daughter chips in and her husband does the electrical work. (PHOTO: Supplied)

We also go big inside our house.

I take it to the next level with Christmas toilet paper and other bathroom accessories.

Shaun is a great home chef and cooks our Christmas feast every year.

Even though it’s still a month away, all our presents have already been bought.

My boys, Connor and Austin, are adults now but their friends still come over to view the decorations.

My five-year-old daughter, Gia, loves it too and always wants to help me with the decorations. 

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The decorations come alive at night when Danielle switches on the lights. (PHOTO: Supplied)

I’ve built quite a collection over the years – and it keeps getting bigger and better.

I have lost count of the number of decorations I have or how much money I’ve spent, but seeing people's faces light up every year makes it all worthwhile.

My husband is now planning to build me a storage room so I can keep all my things in there.

With Black Friday around the corner, I’m already planning what to get for next year.

If you believe in the magic of Christmas, then Moray Drive is a Christmas wonderland.

People have so much respect for our decorations and lights and apart from lightning damages or power outages, I have no complaints.

I absolutely love Christmas, it’s just a wonderful time of giving, sharing, family and friends.

It is my honour – and privilege – to share the spirit with the community.”

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