Switch on-and you could win £500 voucher

HAVE you flicked the switch yet? As families across Ipswich prepare to turn on fabulous displays of Christmas lights, features editor TRACEY SPARLING invites you to enter our great new competition - and stand a chance of winning £500 worth of DIY vouchers.

By Tracey Sparling

HAVE you flicked the switch yet? As families across Ipswich prepare to turn on fabulous displays of Christmas lights, features editor TRACEY SPARLING invites you to enter our great new competition - and stand a chance of winning £500 worth of DIY vouchers.

OUR hunt is on for the best dressed houses in the Ipswich area this Christmas.

If you've transformed your house into your very own Santa's grotto, you could be in with a chance of winning £500 of Focus DIY vouchers.

The Evening Star has teamed up with Focus to offer a top prize of £500 in vouchers for the store, so start sending your pictures now. We want to see the results of your sterling efforts to decorate homes in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Hadleigh, Stowmarket and all the villages in between.

Or maybe your workplace has splashed out on lights as decorations this year and is the talk of the street.

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We'll post all your pictures on www.eveningstar.co.uk, so you can see the whole gallery - and vote for your favourite towards the end of the competition when they are all on display.

So, whether you've created an authentic white Christmas on your doorstep or have Santa and his reindeers on your roof, don't miss this dazzling opportunity. For inspiration you could head to your local Focus store to find everything you need for your own winter wonderland. From outdoor lights to create a magical starry night and vintage style baubles and wreaths, to subtle and stylish trees and table decorations, Focus has everything you need to decorate your house this Christmas.

Jill Gater from Focus said: “More and more people are showing their festive cheer by decorating the outsides of their homes as well as in. We are appealing to people to send in a photo of the outside of their house in lights and this we are looking forward to seeing all the impressive displays and to rewarding the creativity of entrants.

“The vouchers will be a terrific extra present in the winner's Christmas stocking and can be used to treat friends and family, or could even be spent in January to ward off the post Christmas blues.”

To enter, post a picture of yourself, your family or your colleagues, in front of your lights to:

Christmas Lights Competition, Features, the Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN

or email the picture to suffolkpicturedesk@archant.co.uk with the title Christmas Lights Competition.

You must include your name, address and contact number.

The closing date is December 14.

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To find your nearest FOCUS store simply call 0800 436 436 or log onto www.focusdiy.co.uk.

When Christmas lights were first switched on in London, they were such a great attraction they inspired an unsuccessful attempt in the House of Lords to bring action against those responsible for causing chaos and obstruction. Then shopkeepers and businesses in Regent Street lit up in 1954, prompted by an article in the Daily Telegraph commenting on how drab London looked at Christmas.

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