'Santa's house' - Finningham couple spread Christmas magic

Jo and Andrew Brownlie and the Christmas decorations at the Old Post Office in Finningham

Jo and Andrew Brownlie decorate the Old Post Office in Finningham every year and put a post box outside so children can send a letter to Santa - Credit: Andrew Brownlie

Every year Jo and Andrew Brownlie bring some Christmas sparkle to the village of Finningham - decorating their home and replying to children's letters to Father Christmas.

Families from around the Stowmarket area even drive to drop off a letter for Santa and admire the lights and decorations at the Old Post Office. 

Mr Brownlie, 53, who first met his wife at school, said: "Basically Jo is a proper Christmas fairy. In our house, Christmas starts on December 1 and runs until the end of December. 

Andrew Brownlie and Jo Brownlie

Andrew Brownlie says his wife Jo is a 'proper Christmas fairy' - Credit: Andrew Brownlie

"I am so proud of Jo, she does the most amazing displays and puts so much time and passion into it - it's a different display every year and she starts looking for ideas in September.

"I feel proud to look at our house and we get lots of lovely comments from our neighbours." 

A few years ago the couple bought an old wooden post box at auction, they put bells inside the letter box which jingle when children put a letter inside. 

Mr Brownlie said that when his wife gets a letter to reply to she is "so excited" - parents are asked to slip in a note sharing a few details about their child so each letter can be personalised. 

Most Read

"Last year there were children as young as five and six saying 'I don't need a present this year, please can you find a cure for Covid instead' - which was just heartbreaking," he added. 

On cosy December nights the couple often mute the television and listen to children admiring the lights and other parts of the festive display. 

Mr Brownlie said earlier this month he was in the driveway and heard two young boys say to their parents "that's Santa's house". 

The Christmas post box outside the Old Post Office in Finningham

The Christmas post box outside the Old Post Office in Finningham - children love posting their letters to Santa - Credit: Andrew Brownlie

The couple who have six children between them and four grandchildren, said that last year they "stepped up" the festive magic to bring some extra Christmas cheer after a challenging year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mr Brownlie said: "It was miserable last year as we couldn't see our children or our grandchildren - so decorating the house helped us when we felt like we were missing out." 

The Old Post Office in Finningham decorated for Christmas

The couple decorate their home in Finningham inside and out every Christmas - Credit: Andrew Brownlie