Inside Dr Angela Thomson's Christmas shop in Te Puke is the accumulation of a life's passion.
The door is pushed open and a shopkeeper's bell merrily jingles.
Voices can be heard before anybody is seen: "Woah ... wow ... ooh".
School children then emerge with their mouths agape at the visual feast in front of them.
When they spot Dr Angela Thomson, the owner of Aberdeen House Christmas Shed, they sing out "kia ora".
"Kia ora," she replies with a knowing smile.
Big voices then become excitable whispers as the children hurry off to visually devour toys, tinsel, elves, and incredibly detailed Lemax villages.
Overhead, Spotify is streaming Holly Jolly Christmas.
There isn't a part of Thomson's dazzling 260sq m shop that isn't filled with decorations (20,000 to be exact).
Even the ceiling debuts an artistic display of hanging icicles, snowflakes, stars and swirly, painted lollipops, while in the next room, 1000 rainbow tissue flowers hang over an artificial grassed "Fairyland".
It is, in her own words, "a magical, blow-you-away, scintillate your senses, interactive experience".
Thomson, a mother of nine, Justice of the Peace (JP) and wedding celebrant, who has a PhD in international environmental law, is dressed head-to-toe in red and white, as she is every day.
At 155cm, she wears a long, slouchy Santa hat that falls just above her white sneakers.
It's the "magic" of Christmas that she's obsessed with and she and Scottish husband Phil, whom she jokes "tolerates" her 364-day hobby, have invested $300,000 of family savings and inheritance into Te Puke's permanent Christmas shop in Jellicoe St.
For the last two years, Aberdeen House Christmas Shed has been open from March to December but financial restraints mean that come next year, it will open from July 1 to December 24.
"It really is a struggle to be open all year," the 54-year-old says, explaining that personal savings are running out, and with planned modifications to their rental building in 2020, elaborate displays will have to be temporarily dismantled.
She's weighing up whether the business, founded in 2017, remains viable.
"All of our savings have gone into it, which kind of makes it a little bit harder to decide how much more do we keep putting into it.
"There's no way we could do this as a pop-up store, that took three months to put together," she says motioning to an A-frame structure that houses tiers of delicate ornaments underneath it.
"It is really gutting."
Some of her customers have travelled from as far away as Dunedin and Christchurch to specifically see her shop, for which she collects items from all over the world.
There's everything from 50c stocking fillers to a $2300 velvet wearing Santa and Mrs Claus.
"The first year we were open, someone came in and said 'you haven't got a dark-skinned Santa'. If anyone ever comes to the store and says you haven't got such and such, I make it my mission to find it."
She found and ordered the dark-skinned Santa online in the United States (it's still for sale), but one thing that alludes her is "a really nice looking, kind-faced Mrs Claus".
"They're hard to find.
"In my quiet moments, I'm googling all the time."
The Elf on the Shelf is her top seller and she has them in every colour from salmon to blue.
"I take a few things home. Every year I wait until the very end of Christmas. I'm trying to curb myself of that."
In her own home, she has handmade tartan sashes on the backs of her eight dining room chairs, eight Christmas trees, a spiral staircase bedecked in oversized red and silver bows, and everything goes up on November 1 and is taken down towards the end of January.
On Christmas Eve, most of her children and their families stay overnight and they play board games and cards.
"My 27-year-old daughter likes to get up (on Christmas Day) at 6am and go jumping on everyone to get up. She's followed in my footsteps. Once she starts having children, I think she's going to explode."
The rest of her children are surprisingly not quite as enthusiastic, but support their mum's dream.
Her little shop has never been about "making millions" and she's had to fight off criticism from the odd grinch as to why it's open throughout the year.
"It's not an entrepreneurial business," she explains.
"I don't pay myself during the year but what I want to get to is the stage where I don't have to put any more savings into it."
She and Phil, a food safety compliance manager for Apata, moved to Te Puke from Auckland in 2016.
"We didn't actually choose the town, we chose the house," she says, explaining that all they knew was that they wanted to be in the Bay of Plenty.
The six bedroom Te Puke house they chose in Dunlop Rd, with two cabins outside, had the ideal shed for a Christmas grotto.
"In Auckland, we always had the whole house decorated and we'd hand out candy canes, it was the full works."
Their first Christmas in Te Puke saw them open up their home to the public and from that, the idea of a permanent shop came.
"I had just finished work in Auckland, I was writing a book for the Auckland City Council (Te Whau: Connecting the people, the places, the taonga) and I had nothing to do. I was kind of bored."
She didn't want to continue with law and decided that life was too short not to embrace her creative side.
She's written a children's book, Ken the Kiwifruit Christmas Elf, and is in the process of writing a historical fiction novel.
"I came up with the idea and Phil built everything for me," she says of the different alcoves in the shop which are named after Santa's reindeer.
Growing up, her mother always made a fuss of Christmas, and Thomson filled her days "down in the garden with the fairies".
"I was so imaginative."
She always knew she wanted a big family and after leaving school in Matamata, joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force, where she met her first husband.
They had eight children together, the first five of which were born 16 months apart, and split after the birth of their last child, which put her into ICU with complications.
Number seven child before him, Samuel, 23, was starved of oxygen during labour, when Thomson was given penicillin and suffered anaphylaxis. He has cerebral palsy.
After her marriage break up, Thomson was hospitalised for depression. She ended up on the DPB and hated it.
"I vowed and declared that I was going to do something with my life.
"Sam was covered under ACC for medical misadventure but every time I needed something for him they made it so hard."
She decided to go to Auckland University and she spent 11 years studying fulltime, with the goal of knowing her rights to better fight for her boy.
In the process she "fell in love" with environmental law and did a PhD.
"After that, I thought 'what now?' because I knew I didn't want to be a lawyer. It's not me," she says, explaining that she's never been someone who is money orientated.
Life is too short not to enjoy it, she advises.
"A lot of things I've learnt in my life along the way have taught me that. Don't wait for tomorrow because you don't know if it's even coming.
"My best quote is 'don't look back , you're not going that way'. I think about that so often if I'm getting a bit down about things.
"I love giving happy feelings to people, especially kids, when they're growing up in this world.
"I'm quite a softie. I don't watch the news. I find it too sad."
She takes a philanthropic approach to her store and does giveaways, as well as taking donations of Christmas trees and decorations for those less fortunate.
Thomson's message for anyone following their dream is to "just do it".
"If it doesn't work out, you tried."
But she does suggest using money that you've already got, rather than getting a loan.
Year round, she relaxes at night by watching a Christmas movie. Her favourites are Elf, the three Santa Claus movies and Christmas with the Kranks.
Her favourite Christmas tunes are White Christmas by Frank Sinatra and Snoopy's Christmas.
On her bucket list is to have a white Christmas in Norway, see the Northern Lights and go for a sleigh ride with reindeer.
But in the meantime, her little oasis in Te Puke, filled with its nostalgia and magic, is where she'll be.
Santa makes an appearance here but he'll disappear again on Christmas Eve.
Thomson wants to stay, and she hopes the community will support her to do so.
"There's too much bad stuff happening in the world to not have a place where you can just be a kid again. Be carefree," she says.
"My passion and my heart is saying 'carry it on'. I don't know what I
I'd do without it."
# Aberdeen House Christmas Shed is in Jellicoe St, Te Puke. Opening hours: Monday-Thursday: 10am-6pm. Friday: 10am-8pm. Saturday and Sunday: 10am-6pm.
Santa hours: December 17, 5pm-6pm.
December 20, 6pm-7pm.