122 Hornibrook Road, Dalyellup lights up for Christmas 2021

In memory of Xander: Steven, Abbi, Karen, Damien and Xavier Gare. Picture: Pip Waller
In memory of Xander: Steven, Abbi, Karen, Damien and Xavier Gare. Picture: Pip Waller

DALYELLUP couple Karen and Steven Gare have always loved sharing the spirit of Christmas through their light displays.

Originally from the United Kingdom, they said their displays helped them get into the Christmas holiday, which they were used to celebrating in the winter elements, not warm, Australian summers.

This year, to celebrate Christmas with their seven children, Abbi, Damien, Dominique, Kayleigh-Mae, Thea, Xavier and Phoenix, the family have a display at 122 Hornibrook Road, Dalyellup, featuring 18 giant, Christmas themed inflatables and hundreds of lights.

They said Christmas to them was all about family and friends.

In memoriam: Proud parents Karen and Steven with a photo of their baby boy, Xander. Picture: Pip Waller

In memoriam: Proud parents Karen and Steven with a photo of their baby boy, Xander. Picture: Pip Waller

"We have a party on the driveway on Christmas Eve and everyone is invited," Ms Gare said.

"To us the holiday has always been about the magic because as adults, once you know the mystery behind Christmas, you kind of lose that magic.

"But having the kids and doing the light displays brings that back for us."

The Gare's Christmas lights display is also in memory of their seventh child, Xander, who sadly passed away at just five days old due to heart problems.

Ms Gare said Xander passed away in 2019 after being diagnosed with three different heart issues.

Lit up: The Gare house in action. Picture: supplied

Lit up: The Gare house in action. Picture: supplied

He never got to experience a Christmas.

'We were given a choice of operating, but it wasn't a case of operating to fix him, it was more just to patch his heart," Ms Gare explained.

"We'd have to keep opening him up and patching his heart repeatedly, so unfortunately it was more buying time than improving his quality of life.

"We spoke to our midwife who was a representative of HeartKids WA, and made the decision to start donating money from our display."

The Gare children: Damien, Abbi, Dominique, Kayleigh-Mae, Thea, Xavier and Phoenix with Xander's ashes. Photo: supplied

The Gare children: Damien, Abbi, Dominique, Kayleigh-Mae, Thea, Xavier and Phoenix with Xander's ashes. Photo: supplied

HeartKids Western Australia is a non profit organisation focused on supporting those impacted by childhood heart disease.

Visitors to the house can donate to HeartKids in memory of Xander.

Both Mr and Ms Gare said they looked forward to being together with their children on Christmas.

"It's the one day of the year where they are not allowed to fight with each other," Ms Gare laughed.