WHEN they started crafting a Christmas display outside their house 20 years ago, Jackie and Paul Clifford had no way of knowing how big it would become.

They started small with Paul buying “one or two” figures, before adding a few decorations each year, and the winter project gathered momentum.

Now, Jackie says, the couple are in a position where they “can’t not” do a display with swathes of people making the trip to Saltdean to see their house each year.

The 52-year-old said: “It takes weeks to set it all up now.

Christmas displays 2019

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“We have normally started by the beginning of November. But when you see the kids come around and see their faces light up, it’s all worthwhile.”

The pair hold a switching on event on December 1 with mulled wine, mince pies and sweets on offer for visitors.

Jackie said: “We had at least 50 people come down this year. The kids, mums, dads, grans and grandads, it’s for everyone, I don’t think you really grow out of Christmas lights.”

A few years ago, Jackie and Paul decided to link their yearly efforts in with a good cause so began to raise money for charity and so they left a collection bucket in front of the display in Chorley Avenue.

Jackie said: “People walking past or walking with their dogs often drop a few pennies in and it all adds up. People are very generous.

“We aim to get about £1,000 each year now.”

The lights stay up until January 5 and the cash collected is donated to Martlets, a Brighton charity which provides terminally ill people with care and support.

Jackie said: “Martlets is close to our hearts, it has helped many of our friends and family over the years. I think people are encouraged to give because it’s such a good cause, and also because they are feeling festive at this time of year and want to give back.”

Have you set up an enviable Christmas display at your house?

If so, we would love to see it, so get in touch at news@theargus.co.uk