When Martin Beyers was just a little boy, he would watch his father, Snowden “Snowy” Beyers hand-make Christmas decorations.
These intricate little labours of love adorned the windows, front yard and driveway of their Rugby home, spreading Christmas cheer to all who passed by and especially to children who were his “target audience”.
For more than 40 years this tradition continued until his ailing health would not allow him any more. It was then that his son, Martin, decided to continue where his father left off and today this Beyers tradition has turned into a passion appreciated by all.
Finding Mr Beyers’ home in Nahum Street is easy. It is the only one decorated from top to bottom with a two-metre tall Christmas tree, reindeers, Christmas lights and more.
“He used to cut out pieces of aluminium and make holes in them and weave nylon and lights through it,” said Mr Beyers, referring to his father.
“He made candles, stars, Father Christmases. Everything.”
Mr Beyers fishes out two old Christmas ornaments made by his father. One is a candy cane with most of the red stripes faded away with age.
Mr Beyers’ mother Vera, 82, says her son has “perfected” what her late husband started.
“He used to make the decorations in the kitchen. The table looked ‘deurmekaar’ while he was busy. When I moaned, he would chase me away. When I wasn’t chased away, I would make him tea,” she recalled, laughing.
She loves this time of year and spends most of her time watching the lights through the lounge window.
Her husband developed lung cancer and died three days before his 79th birthday in August 2014.
Ms Beyers said they had been married for 58 years and so much wanted to reach their 60th anniversary.
“He loved children. He could sit for hours and talk to them. They used to come to the gate to look at the lights and he would just love it. It made him happy,” she said.
Mr Beyer’s wife, Wendy, is proud of her husband for outdoing himself each year.
“Martin had a mild stroke in October and I was worried that he would not be able to continue his amazing work, but with determination and many long hours, he proved me wrong. I want to thank him for yet another wonderful display.” she said.
She said people would drive pass the house then stop and reverse to admire the lights.
“This has become Martin’s passion every year and he does it not only for his family, but for the other people in Nahum Street, especially the Roux family, who have been our neighbours for many years,” she said.
Usually starting around December 12 each year, Mr Beyers spends a few days decorating the house and is helped by his daughter Bella. Each year more decorations are added. This year he asked a friend to make him a Christmas tree similar to one he saw in Paddocks shopping centre.
Standing in the middle of the lawn, the tree has 13 branches with 180 individual lights on each branch. “I don’t really have a lot of patience but for some reason, with this, I have all the patience in the world.”
When asked about the electricity bill, he shrugs it off. He said buying decorations and setting them up each year along with the light bill runs into the thousands but he doesn’t mind.
“I do it for the grandchildren and the little ones and for me of course. I think I enjoy it the most,” said Mr Beyers.
A couple of hours after interviewing Mr Beyers, the Grinch visited his home and stole his big reindeer and two small reindeer from his front yard. If anyone has information about the stolen property please call Mr Beyers at 078 602 0332.