Mum Carly Lockie and her family have spent four weeks completely transforming their home into a Santa’s grotto, by covering every wall, door and cupboard with festive wrapping paper
The festive season is finally in full swing and many people up and down the country have already begun decking the halls and spreading Christmas cheer all over their homes.
But, there are few people who are as committed as one Christmas mad mum, who turns her entire home into a Santa’s grotto, by covering every single wall in festive wrapping paper.
Carly Lockie started the unusual tradition two years ago, when she grew tired of the beige walls in her three-bedroom Bristol home, so she decided to go for the full Christmas transformation, on a budget.
She enlists the help of her partner Mike Phillips, as well as her kids, 15-year-old Mayah, Harmonie, 10, five-year-old Junior, and stepdaughter Kayleigh, 18, to hang the paper in every room in the house – including all the doors and even the kitchen cupboards.
Carly said: “We do the whole house and it takes a long time. We start the first week of November and finish in the first week of December. It’s like Santa’s grotto.
“I just love Christmas and so does Mike. He’s just as barmy a me so we’re on the same wave length.
“Everyone I know loves it but they also think I’m batty. I’ve got a few bah humbugs in my family so they think I’m crazy.
“The younger kids love it and they bring their friends round to have a look. Mayah pretends not to because she doesn’t want to ruin her street cred but she wants her room done too.”
The 36-year-old covers her entire home using 20 rolls of wrapping paper, which cost just 50p each, meaning her whole house is completely transformed for a modest £10.
Carly said: “We used two rolls per wall in the living room but the bedrooms are a bit smaller. I find the cheapest wrapping paper at 50p a roll. The walls were just plain before, a bland magnolia.
“It’s great because when I take it down, it feels like we’ve just redecorated it again. The wrapping paper stays up until the 2nd or 3rd of Jan and it doesn’t take it too long.”
Traditionally, the family would begin the decorating towards the end of November but decided to start earlier this year in memory of Carly’s mum, Roz, who passed away in 2020.
Carly said: “My mum bought us a Christmas tree last year and it arrived the day after she died so now we decorate the house a week earlier in tribute to her. It was the last present she ever bought us.”
The decorations are taken down after the New Year but the thrifty mum makes sure nothing goes to waste by making Christmas cards out of the used paper.
Carly said: “We never throw any away. Nothing goes to waste. All of last year’s wrapping paper was used to make Christmas cards for the elderly because there are a lot of care homes in our area.
“We keep the cardboard bit in the middle and just wrap it back around that and put it in storage to use for next year.”