Video thumbnail, Derek Highe's Christmas lights 2015
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He doesn’t look much like Father Christmas but Derek Highe has been getting letters to Santa through his letterbox.

Community-spirited Derek, 57, has turned his home into a Christmas wonderland for the last decade, raising almost £30,000 for charity.

For all but one of the last 12 years dad-of-two Derek has festooned his semi in Robin Royd Avenue, Mirfield, with stunning Christmas lights.

Derek, who runs his own kitchens and bedrooms firm, has created a forest-themed display this year with multi-coloured trees, mock snow and illuminated reindeers.

In what has become an annual tradition, families flock to admire the lights and donate to good causes.

Derek gives every penny to charity and £28,500 has been raised so far. He’s supported various causes but Kirkwood Hospice has been the chosen charity for the last eight years.

But this year for the first time as well as money through his letterbox Derek has received letters to Santa!

Clean-shaven Derek, no white beard in sight, said: “In all the years we’ve been doing this we’ve never had letters to Santa before.

“I’m not Father Christmas and I haven’t got a grotto but I thought it was so nice. That’s the kind of magic we create.

“Rest assured I’ll be forwarding the letters to Santa.”

Derek spends his weekends in November putting up the lights but this year was the worst he’s known for the wind and rain.

Winter wonderland at Robin Royd Ave, Mirfield. Derek Highe sit amongst his decorations.

“The weather was awful,” said Derek. “You can’t do electrics in the rain. I kept putting it off until the next weekend and the next weekend was just as bad.

“It’s the worst weather I’ve ever endured but we got there.”

Derek, a Huddersfield Town fan and regular on the Pedal4Pounds bike rides, had to miss 2013 due to work commitments but has been touched by the response since.

“Everybody can see how much this means to so many people and, ultimately, to Kirkwood Hospice. I just want to thank everyone for their support.”

In the early years Derek even closed off his street and up to 1,000 people attended his switch-on events.

Donations can now be made online at www.justgiving.com/robinroydxmaslights/ or by texting RRCL48 and the amount to 70700.

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