You know it is Christmas time in Maitland when the hay Santa pops up on Cessnock Road. The creative character, made from hay bales, is the work of the Viola family.
It took Michelle and Michael Viola a couple of days and 10 hay bales of varying sizes to create this year’s Christmas display.
“I did Santa and then I made some some Minion elves,” Mrs Viola said.
“Then Mick decided to try and do one better and put together Rudolph the red-nose reindeer.”
The family, including the three boys James, 8, Andrew, 7, and Ethan, 5, are known for their creative farmyard flair. In the lead up to last year’s Hunter Valley Steamfest they built a very impressive hay train and for Christmas hay Santa was the talk of the town.
“The boys love it,” Mrs Viola said.
“They say ‘look Mum,’ every time someone stops to have a look or take a photo. We have already had lots of people stopping this year and tooting their horns when they go by.”
Despite the joy it brings to the community, the hay displays have also coincided with some severe weather events. The hay train was destroyed during the April superstorm of 2015. Then last year’s Santa was damaged during a summer storm that whipped through the region. Mrs Viola said she had her fingers crossed the third time would be storm-free.
“It is about spreading cheer, but also a reminder that we have a rural streak in Maitland,” she said.
“It is about celebrating our ruralness and the fun of Christmas.”
This year a Christmas hay teddy bear has also popped up just outside Aberdeen. Staff at local business Allday Concrete spent hours creating the bear, along with a Merry Xmas sign. Take a look.
Have you created an impressive Christmas display? Tell us about it, email email@example.com