‘She loved getting people in the Christmas spirit’ – Reed family to host charity Christmas lights switch-on in memory of caring mum Nikki

Daughter Amberlie and mum Nikki Baxter.

Daughter Amberlie and mum Nikki Baxter. - Credit: Archant

A family from Reed who illuminate the village every year with an impressive home Christmas lights display to raise money for good causes are to continue the tradition once again, this year in memory of their wife and mum who died after a short illness in September.

The Baxter family are well known for their Christmas lights display.

The Baxter family are well known for their Christmas lights display. - Credit: Archant

Nikki Baxter was 47 when she became ill – the cause of which is still unknown by her family – and she died two weeks later.

Neil Ellington, 25, is a close friend of the family and set up the whole lights display this year – taking him and his team two months to complete.

“Nikki was such a caring lady, she was always doing charity work and helping others,” he said.

“This is such a sentimental time for the family so we just want to make it a fun time for everyone, we’ve lost count of how many lights there are – there’s thousands.”

They host a big Christmas lights switch-on every year to raise money for charity.

They host a big Christmas lights switch-on every year to raise money for charity. - Credit: Archant

Nikki worked at their family-run Herts-based firm First Class Business Solutions, but still gave much of her time to supporting charities and caring for others.

She was well-known in the village, and her family – husband Adrian, daughter Amberlie, 23, and sons Jake, 25, and 28-year-old Clark – have described her as ‘beautiful, generous and slightly bonkers’ lady and that their lives will never be the same or as vibrant without her.

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The lights switch-on was Nikki’s favourite event of the year and Amberlie said: “She loved nothing more than getting everyone into the Christmas spirit, raising money for charity – and embarrassing her family!”

The most they’ve raised in the past is £4,200 so they are hoping to reach £5,000 this year.

It will go to Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, which supports patient care at Addenbrooke’s Hospital – where Nikki was treated in the John Farman Intensive Care Unit – and Rosie Hospital, both in Cambridge.

The Baxters were taken aback by the care she received, saying the staff and medical help she received was the very best available,

“Not only did they take brilliant care of our mum, they also ensured our entire family was looked after so we will be making a special donation from the money raised to go to this unit,” said Amberlie.

The money will help pay for the cutting-edge technology, additional specialist staff, environmental enhancements and extra comforts for patients that make all the difference.

Maintenance man Neil added: “She loved making her house a ‘tourist attraction of Christmas lights – with each year being bigger and tackier than ever’ as she would say.

“We just want people to come along and enjoy themselves and help us raise our biggest amount ever.”

The Baxters’ Christmas light switch-on is at their Fallowfield home in The Joint in Reed on Saturday at 6.30pm.

The fun starts at 5pm with plenty going on including a raffle to decide who will be tasked with flicking the all-important switch.

There will also be food and drink to keep visitors warm, including burgers, mince pies and mulled wine.

Free parking has been arranged at the Silver Ball Cafe on the A10 opposite the turning for Reed, and a bus from Cozys will be shuttling people to and from the house from the car park.

To donate to the cause go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheBaxtersChristmasLights.