Xavier Kelly with his nana’s roadside Santa, who is placed in different poses every day to entertain passing motorists.
Xavier Kelly with his nana’s roadside Santa, who is placed in different poses every day to entertain passing motorists. Max Fleet

Santa swaps North Pole for South Kolan

IT SEEMS Santa has lost his way again this year, mistaking the North Pole for South Kolan.

The popular life-sized Santa has made his return outside the home of Michelle and Steven Kelly, who are known for putting Mr Claus in obscure and hilarious places - much to the delight of passing motorists on Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd.

"(Yesterday) Santa was fishing in the toilet, and he had a roll of toilet paper on the end of his line," Mr Kelly said.

This Kelly family's Christmas tradition has been going on for the past eight years, and is now a known highlight on the car journey for people travelling in and out of Bundaberg each day.

"The kids love it - we get a lot of people beeping the horn," he said.

As Mr Kelly will tell you, this wooden Santa is no ordinary Santa.

"He's bench-pressed, fished in the boat, and does wheel stands on the ride-on mower," he said.

"He had a raincoat and goggles on in the floods last year."

The couple change his position a few times a week and it quickly becomes the "Where's Wally" game, but for Santa instead.

"After a while it gets a bit difficult - he's just about done every position," he said.

"Michelle's sister lives in Gin Gin and she hears people talking about him all the time - 'I wonder what Santa is doing today'.

"He brightens up (the children's) day as they head into town."

It was only two years ago the Christmas-loving family were told to "rein" in on Santa's exploits around the property, after Main Roads deemed him to be a distraction to road users.

"He doesn't do any harm - he's only out there for the kids," Mr Kelly said.

"I don't think he's a distraction. It's Christmas time.

"It's not as if we live in the middle of town. We're out in the country."

Mr Kelly said they had sought advice from a local police officer and were told Santa could remain, obscure positions and all.

It is not just the youngsters who get great joy from seeing the jolly man.

Just yesterday, Mrs Kelly received a Christmas card from the Gin Gin Ambulance Station, thanking them for putting Santa out this year.

"(The card said): 'Thank you for cheering us up on our journey back and forth to Bundaberg - you always put a smile on our faces and we are glad to see him back'," she said.

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