HIGH Street butcher Jeff Beazley is refusing to let the Christmas Grinch take control in Wodonga — he’s keeping the Santa tradition alive.
Mr Beazley has purchased a Santa and fixed the fat man to the roof of his shop just as he has for more than a decade.
He said without the Santas the spirit of Christmas was sadly lacking in central Wodonga.
“There has always been one here since I took over 14 years ago,” he said.
“I just wanted to make sure we had one up there again.
“I wasn’t going to miss out.
“I wanted to put one up in front of my house but they have all been sold.”
The Santas disappeared more quickly than a Christmas lunch at a dispersal sale last Saturday.
More than 100 of them have found new homes including 10 to Tallangatta.
Some are still in Wodonga including at the Bumble Bees childcare centre in Melbourne Road.
But the Santa at Beazley’s Meats is the only one in High Street where the tradition started 30 years ago.
“There is not much Christmas spirit down here without them,” Mr Beazley said.
“It looks pretty bare actually.
“If we can do our little bit it all helps.
“We’ve had quite a few people poke their heads in and say how good it looks.”
Mr Beazley said he and his son spent “five minutes” erecting the Santa last week.
They had been mounted under a joint arrangement between the Wodonga Lions and Apex clubs for the past five years.
But increasing issues of public liability and occupational health and safety contributed to the tradition’s demise.
“It’s a shame they all had to go,” Mr Beazley said.
“The council could have done a bit more by putting them up.”
But Mr Beazley did praise the recent change from parallel to angle parking in High Street.
“It makes it look like a shopping centre now,” he said.
“We’ve got two-thirds more parking in front of our shop.
“You are seeing more people walking around because they can get a park.”