Monday, December 19, 2011


In modern Australia most sensible people have chosen one of two options when it comes to Christmas presents. Either they do a Secret Santa thing and buy one present for one family member each, or over the years they estrange all difficult family members until they're left with just two or three who are happy with a jar of festive peanuts.

Being estranged from the sensible community myself, I still do things the old-fashioned way. Between family, friends and the girls in the office, I had twenty three presents to buy, steal, make or regift this year. Further complicating the issue is the fact that I'm by nature a careful and considerate gift giver. Even for people I don't particularly like, I can't just wander into Kmart and get the first thing that falls into my price range. I have to trek all over the city, visiting many stores, until I find something I think they'd appreciate.

One byproduct of this extensive and intensive shopping is that I tend to come across things I never would have seen otherwise, and yet realise I can't live without. I end up buying a present for myself half as often as I buy one for someone else.

So far this year I've acquired the following:

iPod transmitter, $55, JB HiFi - "While I'm getting a DVD for my nephew, I really should check out their iPod accessories since my old transmitter broke. Ooh, shiny!"

Coconut shell necklace, $10, Fremantle street vendor - "I need a coffee after buying a book for those frien... ooh, interesting!"

Hoodie, $66, online T-shirt market - "My friend will love this T-shirt. Hey, they do the same design in a hoodie! Awesome!"

Cufflinks, $30, hipster boutique - "Would my sister like this pendant? I don't kno... wait a second, those cufflinks are cool!"

Shirts, $4, Good Samaritan thrift shop - "I've finally got the perfect gift for Junior. What's next? Hey, this street has a Good Sammys!"

Ceramic cargo containers, $45, William Topp - "Should I get these for my friends? They might not "get" them. Still, they're very cool. In fact they're TOO cool for the likes of them. And they'd look great in my kitchen..."

Pop art melamine tray, $25, William Topp - "Well I'm back to look at those earings I noticed on my last visit, maybe for my other sister. Hmmm... on second thoughts they're a bit meh. And expensive. But hey, this tray is REALLY cool..."

My expenditure for those twenty three presents comes to just under $400. Stuff for me comes to $235. I'm doing well.


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