Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

'Tis the Pre-Season of Folly; We Are Making Lists, Changing Them Twice, Some Are Acting Naughty, Others Just Aren't Nice, Cos Santa Is Coming to Town

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

'Tis the Pre-Season of Folly; We Are Making Lists, Changing Them Twice, Some Are Acting Naughty, Others Just Aren't Nice, Cos Santa Is Coming to Town

Article excerpt

Byline: CARRIE COX carrieon@bigpond.com

THE first of the Chrissy decorations are in the shops and sensible people are making lists and snaffling up specials. You can spot these folk by the purposeful look upon their faces, all pursed lips and biros behind the ears. I admire them greatly. They come from different stock.

While I often look upon bargain buys and think back to the mint I spent last festive season, I can never make that leap to purchase presents pre-December. I just can't presuppose what my friends and family will be into from one season to the next. Last Christmas my dad was a Sudoku nut; by February he had declared it "nursing home fodder" and hightailed it back to the form guide.

Kids especially are far too fickle to buy for in advance. Little Johnny's a soccer star, the parents declare in February. No, he's into his Wii now, they say in June. Actually he's ADD, they bomb-drop in October. What to buy this troubled boy (and his even more troubled parents), I wonder?

Besides which, it's risky to fill the cupboard with Christmas gifts when relationships can change on a dime. I never buy my sister's partner a gift until just days before the big family lunch - the stress of this event alone has seen her dump more boyfriends on December 23 than I care to recall. "Russell just wasn't going to fit in," she'll quickly explain. "He would have fought with Uncle Ian. Let's not speak of him anymore. Crackling, anyone?"

Families make snap decisions about present-buying protocol that fly in the face of all previous arrangements. Last year I bought all the nieces and nephews on my husband's side a generous gift, only to discover on Christmas Day that his brothers and their wives had decided to buy only for their children, what with the global financial crisis and all. Agree completely, but a little heads-up would have been beaut. …

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