Bryanston resident Danielle Goff, known jovially as Mrs Claus, is celebrating her 18th jubilee year of adorning Moray Drive with Christmas decorations.
Goff, who has resided in Bryanston for 22 years, said she became inspired by trips to Cape Town with her husband.
“We used to go see the lights in Adderley Street in Cape Town when I moved to Bryanston,” Goff stated. “We started it with just lighting one tree; it has grown so much. I now have decorated an entire street; it is truly magnificent.”
Goff’s holiday cheer display along her drive has garnered her notoriety, especially after a TikTok video in 2022 catapulted her hard work into a viral trend on social media. Although Goff has innovated a tourist attraction in her community, not everyone seems to know about the display.
“I need more exposure for Sandton,” Goff admitted. “People in Bryanston get annoyed that they [have] been living here for 30 years and don’t know about it.”
Those who do know of her consistent efforts to be ready for the December holiday season encourage a healthy reverence for Goff’s creativity.
“I sit on my patio over weekends creating things for next year, and I listen to the mommies tell their children, ‘Do not touch, Mrs Claus works hard!’,” said Goff, detailing her process to completing her effort before the start of the holidays. “My street lights should be up by mid-November; I work all through the year, burning the midnight oil, making decorations [by] following groups on Pinterest for ideas.”
Goff lauds the children as the best motivational factor for the way they get excited to meet Mrs Claus, who reads all their letters to Santa.
“I love children; it’s a wonderful feeling to bring joy to others,” Goff said. “It’s important to have a purpose, and if you can make someone smile then you have fulfilled your purpose.
To Goff, it is important to remain childlike and to believe in fairytales and creative magical moments. This year, Goff has, in part, dedicated some of her exhibition to breast cancer survivors.
“Isn’t Christmas just the best time of the year? I am big on the c-words: Caring compassion, Christmas, carols, community, and Christ,” Goff concluded. “I have added lots of pink and special meanings for cancer warriors; I am still doing finishing touches; it takes a full 4 weeks to set everything up outside.”