An annual roadside Christmas tradition has been ruined after part of the decorative display was snatched up by a thieving passerby.
Jazz O’Connor has set up a Christmas diorama on the corner of Mikimiki Rd and SH2 for the past five years in order to contribute some Christmas cheer to the community – especially the children travelling past the site.
This year O’Connor decided to add a cheerful collection of 10 [wooden] gingerbread people of indeterminate gender to the display.
Unfortunately, the addition to her festive tradition didn’t last long – last week six of the gingerbread people were stolen, and now there are none.
The theft of the gingerbread people marks the first time the display has been interfered with, and the solar lights for night-time viewing have been left untouched.
O’Connor set up the display with her seven-year-old daughter, who had enjoyed seeing the festive fruits of her hard work on the way to school with her friends.
Now the theft has prompted her to ask her mum, “Why are people rude?”
“It’s a bit sad to break Christmas spirit and little kids like that,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor said she doesn’t have any idea as to who the culprit could be – only that it wouldn’t have been anyone from Mikimiki Rd – and the gingerbread gang certainly didn’t run off by themselves.
“Everyone in our little community tries to get into a bit of Christmas spirit, so I can’t imagine it being anyone on our road,” she said.
“It’s important to keep small rural community traditions like this going.”
With that in mind, O’Connor said the theft of the gingerbread people won’t stop her from doing another display next year.
“I’ll give it another go,” she said, “But maybe not with any gingerbread people.”