17 November 2023

How to bank on Christmas being at the right time of year - it's a gift

| Sally Hopman
Start the conversation
Christmas lights

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Or even started? Photo: Laura Liu.

Heard this woman on the radio this week discussing with the broadcaster who had finished their Christmas shopping first. Turns out they were talking about this year.

Is it a brilliant organisational skill or just “let’s get it over with” mentality? Or have the retail stores become our new timeline. When they roll the decorations out, we start buying their seasonal stuff.

It’s a surprise we know when anything is due any more. The only time you’d know for sure that Easter is coming is when the first hot cross buns appear – on Boxing Day.

Halloween is now a Thing – so now we all know when it’s November. It’s great that we now celebrate an event that originated on the other side of the world and which celebrates an ancient Celtic pagan festival. Why? Because on the day, 1 November, souls of the dead returned to their homes so people got dressed up in their spookiest outfits to ward of such nasties.

I prefer the abridged version – time to clebrate a good harvest. A plentiful supply of natural produce. And how do we celebrate such an event? With lollies, slightly less naturally. (Athough I’m sure if you combine sugar with dairy products – and we all know chocolate grows on trees – or should – we have a balanced diet.)

And, yes, there are always pumpkins.

READ ALSO In tree-mendous news, a Bredbo icon has reopened so yule be ready for Christmas

Probably the ultimate in planning-ahead-ers are re-gifters. The ones who “love” what you gave them for whatever celebration and, like something from The Dish, they always go straight to The Good Room. Or so I thought.

There once was a woman who could re-gift for Australia. She spent so much time recording who gave her what so she would never give that present back to its original giver that she could have finished her 2024 Christmas shopping in 1989.

Only once, from memory, did I manage to give her something that she didn’t end up giving to someone else. Possibly because it was a mug with her name on it.

But you have to give re-gifters credit – or at least a gift voucher for their efforts – they put an awful lot of thought about who should get what.

Christmas snowdome

You can’t go wrong with a Christmas snowdome – unless the person you give it to has, er, taste. Photo: Sally Hopman.

It’s also fascinating to see how people see you, when it comes to gift-giving. In the olden days, when people wore watches, I would regularly get one for my birthday from family, friends or colleagues. They’d never seen me wear one so assumed I needed/wanted one. Not exactly. I now have a draw full of watches that I will probably re-gift to my re-gifting friend so she can, re-re-re-gift till time, or the watches, run out.

The watches live with a near-library of books I’ve been given over the years. So flattering to think I’d actually read some of them, especially the ones in which I don’t understand the title, let alone what’s written inside.

So if Santa is asking, and yes I’ve been pretty good, I’m saying snowdomes, chocolate, Bob Dylan’s ability to write poetry coupled with Eric Clapton’s guitar-playing genius and world peace would be on my list. And not necessarily in that order.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.