What do you call a 15 foot tall festive reindeer festooned with fairy lights on a front lawn in Nawton?

No, its not the build up to a corny Christmas cracker joke. It is a serious push by local residents to add a bit more community cheer to the Hamilton suburb.

Nawton couple Nathan and Rochelle Wells are lighting the way for their little Nawton street of Hamblyn Crescent to be the number one spot to visit for a display of Christmas spirit in the city.

They plan for the giant reindeer — which is nearing completion — to be the star attraction and will be looking for a suitable Kiwi-flavoured name suggested by visitors who drop by to check out the after-dark display.

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Nathan Wells with the 15 metre tall reindeer on his front lawn. Photo / Tom Rowland
Nathan Wells with the 15 metre tall reindeer on his front lawn. Photo / Tom Rowland

For years, the homes and gardens of Harrowfield in North Hamilton have been a star attraction for families to visit in the lead-up to Christmas.

Harrowfield's annual dazzling display of Christmas figures and flashing lights have attracted traffic jams of vehicles as families take a slow cruise through the winding Harrowfield Drive, off River Road.

Now Nathan and Rochelle are making it clear that Harrowfield has competition. The giant reindeer is a new addition to their annual light display and so far at least another six Hamblyn Crescent homes are joining the festive fun with their own outdoors display and more are welcome.

Needless to say, both Nathan and Rochelle have a great love for all things Christmas. It stems from childhood: "I love it so much that when Mum threw out our old Christmas tree, I use to go and save it and put it back up in my room," says Nathan.

Each year he takes annual leave for the entire month of November to set up his display with almost the whole street starting to follow suit and join them in making Hamblyn Crescent one of the brightest streets — if not the brightest — in Hamilton come Christmas.

But it is certainly not about who can afford the biggest or the best; the Wells are all about boosting Christmas spirit not spending a fortune.

"A lot of people that live in Harrowfield are quite wealthy, but to have something like this in your own neighbourhood like Nawton, it shows that it is doable on a small budget," Nathan says.

The 15 feet high reindeer — the star attraction for the little street — came about when Nathan was looking for something different to add this year.

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"I got all the plans from the United States. I contacted Mitre10 and they supplied us with the plywood for free, and I just had to cut it out and paint it."

He said the total project cost just over $200, with the money being spent on getting the plans, the paint and guide wires to hold it up.

"It's a one-off cost and seeing people slow down even without the lights on right now is pretty cool," Rochelle says.

If you are out and about looking at Christmas lights on Saturday, don't forget the annual tree lighting ceremony in Garden Place. The fun begins at 6pm. Photo / Supplied
If you are out and about looking at Christmas lights on Saturday, don't forget the annual tree lighting ceremony in Garden Place. The fun begins at 6pm. Photo / Supplied

The reindeer does not yet have a name, with the Wells asking for those who visit to leave a suggestion in a name box.

"We don't want anything traditional like Rudolph, but something more Kiwi."

Rochelle says many families can't afford to have photos taken with Santa Claus at a mall or shopping centre, so they will be having their own Santa suited up to allow people to have that chance free of charge.

"They will get a fairly decent photo here," she says and it may just be that their Santa will look a little like Nathan.

"It shouldn't cost money to get a photo with Santa, that is a problem with Christmas, sometimes cost stands in the way when it shouldn't, Christmas is about being with family," Rochelle says

Santa Claus is coming to town for the First Credit Union Christmas Parade in Hamilton on Sunday December 8. Pre-parade entertainment begins at 1.15pm. Photo / Supplied
Santa Claus is coming to town for the First Credit Union Christmas Parade in Hamilton on Sunday December 8. Pre-parade entertainment begins at 1.15pm. Photo / Supplied