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Christchurch Christmas light display's biggest year yet

Sunday 2 Dec 2012 6:05 p.m.

By Jesse Peach

There's a special story behind one of Christchurch’s most loved Christmas attractions.

For the fourth year, a family home in Prebbleton has been converted into a light display. But this year is by far the best yet.

Chook Seaward started out collecting Christmas decorations, but over time, it got out of hand. Now her house has become a popular Christmas attraction.

“We just love it,” says Ms Seaward. “I mean, everyone who walks out of here has a big smile on their face.”

This year, Ms Seaward’s husband Carl has gone all out. He's spent more than $100,000, to give his wife her best Christmas yet.

“I wanted to create something spectacular, something far beyond anything we'd done before, because I thought it was going to be Chook's last Christmas,” he says.

In February, Ms Seaward received the shattering news – that she had motor neurone disease.

“My specialist gave me 14 months to live because it's a very harsh disease that takes you out within three to five years.”

The lights have lit up Ms Seaward’s Christmas, but it turns out they're not the best present she's received. Tests overseas have revealed she was misdiagnosed, and she in fact has a condition called Lyme disease, which is treatable.

“I'm pleased I’m here to bug my husband for quite a few years yet and to keep doing the Christmas displays,” she says.

This year they're charging a $5 entry fee, which will go towards the cost of the display. Anything left over will help pay for Ms Seaward’s medical treatment.

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