Geoff Stonebanks is a person who loves Christmas. In fact, he loves the most wonderful time of the year so much, his two bedroom bungalow is stuffed to the brim with Christmas lights and ornaments. His partner of 23 years though isn’t as enamoured with the large collection of Christmas themed decorations - including a Christmas tree from a defunct but beloved high street store Woolworths_Group_(United_Kingdom)">Woolworths from the 1930s.
Geoff’s love of festive decorations stems back to his upbringing in his parent’s pub, the Dolphin in Oxfordshire, which he would decorate with his mum. After his parents retired in 1987 Geoff inherited the pub’s decorations and has added to his growing collection ever since. They include 32 Christmas trees, 1400 decorative ornaments and over 150 metres of tinsel.
The outside of the property in _East_Sussex">Sleaford, Sussex also has also been lit up with an estimated 8,000 fairy lights. It takes Geoff over a week to decorate the house, including the unpacking of 40 boxes worth of Christmas decorations. It’s a collection that the Christmas lover hopes may see him enter the Guinness Book of World Records after realising he had amassed 1400 baubles in 2021. The current record stands at 1760.
But his partner, Mark, isn’t quite as enthusiastic about the wide array of Christmas decorations he has to share space with alongside the couple’s terrier, Chester. “I love Christmas, but my partner hates it, although he has to tolerate my decorations,” Geoff admitted.
“By New Year’s Day we’ve had enough as they’ve been up since December 1. He finds the month-long display ‘depressing’. He goes to work and stays out.” But Geoff’s festive resolve always wins through. "He’s just got to sit through it," he announced.
Despite the dazzling interior, Geoff says he will be spending a quiet Christmas at home this year with his 94-year-old mother, Mark and Chester. For those who are curious as to Geoff’s collection, the Christmas decor auteur has set up a website dedicated to his unusual, seasonal passion.