15 December 2022

Have a holly, jolly and sustainable Christmas this year and enter Queanbeyan Council's decorating comp

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Homeowners in Captains Flat have decorated an old ute at the front of their yard, created a Santa outfit stuffed with shopping bags and an old pillow, made Christmas presents with milk crates and incorporated Christmas tablecloths from last year in order to meet the ‘upcycled’ criteria. Photo: Upcycled Christmas Competition.

As part of making Christmas more eco-friendly this year, Queanbeyan community members are invited to decorate their homes in a sustainable way to go into a draw to win $2000 worth of prizes.

The Upcycled Christmas Competition, run by the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC), encourages people to enter by decorating their front windows, yard, or driveway for the festive season, with a twist – they have to incorporate a minimum of at least one upcycled or repurposed item in their display.

Winners of the competition will be chosen from those that receive the highest number of votes.

They will then be rewarded with one of four $500 hampers (each including $250 worth of vouchers to spend in local businesses across the region) or a $200 Riverside Plaza gift card.

READ ALSO Brighten up your night with the best Christmas lights displays in the Queanbeyan area

Queanbeyan East resident Sian Rinaldi said her family decided to enter the competition as it was her son’s first Christmas and they thought it would be a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit.

“I saw this competition being advertised and thought it seemed like a bit of fun and a bit more of a challenge than throwing some lights up,” she said.

“I took the competition to heart and wanted to only use items which were completely upcycled.

“These include items which would otherwise be heading for the bin or had little other useful life left.”

Sian said the inspiration for their decorations came from her partner’s COVID-19 quarantine experience, where he quarantined outside in their much-loved tent.

“I discovered that there was a large tear in the bottom of it, so I decided that would be the centrepiece of our decorations,” she said.

“The tent had two rooms so I thought we could have a play with that idea. My partner also has a mannequin he bought years ago from a swap meet so I figured she would need to feature somewhere too.

“I came up with the idea of a traditional nativity scene and then the more classic Christmas side. I wanted to make the nativity scene fun but not disrespectful so I did check in with a couple of friends to temp test the idea.

“I also am a big fan of Kath and Kim so I wanted to pay homage to the ‘statue of little baby cheeses’.”

Nichole Overall visited the Queanbeyan East home. Photo: Sian Rinaldi.

The Queanbeyan East resident said she tried to get creative, and had even reached out to local member Nichole Overall to use her old election corflutes as her ‘three wise people’.

“I also went through the house and tried to find anything that could fit my vision,” Sian said.

“There are old blankets in the manger, straw from a gin club package and an old donkey toy plus a bunch of lights.

“My partner had old microphone stands that aren’t that great so we popped them out there. A few calls-out on Facebook and I had a bunch of lights and Christmas decorations so it all came together with some help from the community.”

Sian said as Christmas can often put pressure on families to buy the best presents and decorations, this was a great way to get creative and think about how she could do things differently.

“We are located across from the Queanbeyan Golf Club and it has been a bit of a laugh watching the golfers try and take their shots whilst looking over at our slightly crazy nativity scene,” she said.

“It’s just something fun and different for this time of year which can often be really stressful.”

READ ALSO Time running out to get Christmas presents delivered to loved ones on time

To vote for Sian’s house, and check out all the other amazing, sustainably-decorated houses in the Queanbeyan region, click here.

If you’re interested in getting involved and entering the QPRC’s Upcycled Christmas Competition to enter your house or business, click here.

Entries close at 11:59 am on Friday 16 December and the winners will be notified on Tuesday 21 December, by 4 pm.

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