What is the magic of Christmas? Is it lights gently twinkling on the tree through the night? The building excitement as children get ready for the big man in the red suit to arrive? Is it family coming together across a beautiful table filled with fresh seafood or glazed ham, homemade treats and lots of laughter?
For Sue Royan, the Bundaberg Region’s very own Mrs Claus, the magic of Christmas explodes from every room of her Childers home. Every nook, cranny and surface has a festive trinket. Not even the bathrooms are safe from her annual decorating ritual.
She has her own garden shed just for the Christmas boxes, which she stopped counting when they reached 60.
“It started 20-years-ago when my children were at home and one year I made an advent calendar that was filled with chocolate. That year they all had to take turns every day to have the lolly and there were a few fights and arguments, so the next year I made a few more advent calendars,” Sue said.
“It just came from a love of sewing and the Christmas spirit that is around at this time of year. I loved stitching all the Christmas things – the Santas and reindeer and wall hangings – so I just kept making them and it grew from there.”
It’s a big commitment each year to decorate her home. It takes around four weeks in amongst her grandma duties to complete, with decorations starting to appear at the end of October. But Sue loves that she gets to enjoy Christmas for more than just a few weeks.
With thousands of decorations and a collection that keeps growing, you would think it would be hard to pick a favourite. While she has a few, there is one decoration that holds a special place in the Royan home.
“It is definitely the family tree that’s in the lounge room. It has all our personal things on it like photographs and special ornaments, it is definitely my favourite,” Sue said.