Police have vowed to teach vandals who targeted a Christmas lights display a lesson in festive spirit if they track them down.

A cluster of homes at the end of Wairakei Ave in Papamoa East decorate their houses for Christmas, but many woke today to find electrical wire to their displays cut.

The lights running along the side of resident Rob Pompey's fence were damaged.

His wife Roberta Pompey said it would not put residents off decorating their homes.

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The couple began decorating their house six or seven years ago.

Neighbour Janice Basile said parts of their lighting display were cut. A wooden lamb from their homemade nativity scene was also "kicked into pieces".

"My husband built the nativity scene, he spent quite a lot of time putting it together."

"[Having Christmas lights] is about the spirit of Christmas, it's so nice having families and kids come by. It brings the whole community together, you don't want that destroyed by a few people."

They would continue to decorate their house and had already repaired the nativity scene.

Jo, another resident, who did not want her last name used, found nine cuts in the wires of her Christmas lights after she returned from walking her dog on the beach this morning.

It was the first time her family had put up Christmas lights.

She estimated about four or five others on the street were also victims of the vandal.

Jo had spent about $150 on Christmas lights but only the thin wired lights on the fence were damaged.

"It's pretty gutting - it's pretty Christmas grinchy.

"It's pretty sad, killing other people's fun."

Neighbourhood Support Papamoa co-ordinator Bruce Banks said he thought the perpetrators were people "with too much time, being foolish".

"They're spoiling a lot of fun for the children."

Papamoa Support Centre manager Janice Belgrave said she had not heard of Christmas lights being vandalised in the area before, but the incident was "really disappointing".

Papamoa police Sergeant Tristan Murray said the vandalism had not yet been reported to police but he had heard about it.

"It's certainly not in the Christmas spirit, if we lay our hands on the perpetrators we'll have to re-educate them on what the Christmas spirit is really all about," he said.

Mr Murray said police would patrol the area.

Five houses on Wairakei Ave are part of the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Trail.