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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 December 2006, 11:29 GMT
Windows opened in 'advent street'
A gingerbread house in a window
Vanessa McGeachin's gingerbread house is one of the bigger displays
A life-sized Father Christmas, lights and crackers are among 24 window displays in an East Sussex road, which becomes an "advent street" every year.

The residents of St Nicholas Road in Brighton pick a number before December and then unveil decorations in their front windows when their date comes up.

The tradition has been running since the mid-1990s after one woman came back from America with decorating ideas.

"The road looks very nice and people often ask about it," one resident said.

Joyce Duncan has lived in St Nicholas Road for 23 years, and she revealed Christmas lights and crackers in her window on the first day of December.

Mrs Duncan said she and a neighbour came up with the original idea.

Christmas window displays
There are 45 houses along St Nicholas Road

"She talked about decorations in Los Angeles where she'd been living and we talked around the idea of St Nicholas Road being almost Santa Claus Road. Somehow or other it came about that we could turn windows into an advent calendar."

Henry Bruce only moved into the street in November, but he picked out number 22 and did not have to unveil his window until Friday.

"It's not compulsory, but it's actually quite nice and it really gives a community feel," he said.

Vanessa McGeachin and her family have 10 years' experience of the advent displays.

"This year I've decided to do a giant gingerbread house nestling in a bed of snow along the bottom of the window," she said.

"We've ended up with the reputation of doing the very large things."


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