Farmers Take Unique Approach to Christmas Decorations in Tough Year

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For these farmers, thinking outside the box has no bearing on traditional Christmas light decorations.

Like Diane Piefke, whose farm is located 60 kilometers east of Grenfell in west-central New South Wales; it has been decorating its main box and front door for over a decade.

“I’ve been doing the big bus stop for about ten years or so; I always used to put something small up there, but then I got a little bit crazy,” she said.

Despite living 40 kilometers from the nearest town and only occasionally having the passage of a double-B truck, Ms Piefke’s annual light show has only grown.

“Before, there were a lot of kids on this road, and there are still a few around here, but they used to go around and say, ‘Di has started’; before, this ‘was quite small and now it’s really huge, ”she said. .

“Truckers make the buzz about it at night when they are harvesting. “

Diane Piefke and her sons built Santa’s sleigh and reindeer from recycled materials (ABC Central West: Hamish Cole )

Ms Piefke said recent rains have almost put an end to this year’s decorations; her two sons from Wollongong narrowly avoided flooding nearby to help with construction.

“I didn’t think I would get one this year; I was determined to get one but I didn’t think I would,” she said.

“The day they came [her sons], the hollow of the alley climbed to 40 centimeters because we had a downpour. ”

Merry Christmas reef hanging on a farm gate with green leaves and red flowers
The organizer of the local Christmas light contest said recent rains had prevented many decorations. (ABC Central West: Hamish Cole )

Ms Piefke said it took the whole family and a ute to lift Santa’s sleigh up.

“It took four men to get the ute up, we had to lift it up on the ute cabin and rotate the rear to get it up there so it wouldn’t move anytime soon,” she said. .

“It will be there until after the harvest, when all the boys can get the bolts out of it.”

Christmas lights quickly get bushy

Sue Prestley is the organizer of the Quindella Christmas contest and says the contest has spread from the village to the bush.

“We didn’t start doing a city scene until 2006 because the lights were too expensive, but it evolved a bit to highlight the work being done,” she said.

“So now at night it’s absolutely beautiful because they have lights all the way up the fence and in the trees.”

Ms Prestley said recent weather conditions and the subsequent delay in the harvest had caused the decorations to drop.

“You can’t talk to a farmer when it’s time to sow your crop or take it out,” Ms. Prestley said.

“That’s all they want to do, that’s their goal, and you can see some decorations would need a man’s help.

Green letterbox wrapped in red and yellow Christmas tinsel with a dirt road next to the box
Mailboxes have become a common target for Christmas decorations due to their proximity to the road(ABC Central West: Hamish Cole )

Ms Prestley said after everything that had happened this year it was a disappointing way to end.

“When I was at Grenfell the other day, I noticed that there weren’t as many [Christmas decorations]; there are people who do it normally, but with COVID and everything, the prank has been knocked out to us, ”she said.

Despite this, Mrs. Prestley has faith in the indomitable spirit of the bush.

“You might be surprised to find out who releases something a few days before Christmas. ”


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