Think long and hard about your gift-buying this year.
Think long and hard about your gift-buying this year. evgenyatamanenko

SOAPBOX: Don't join the Christmas Cop-out


I'M UNASHAMEDLY one of those people who like to spoil others at Christmas.

It's a trait I get from my late mother, who would buy bits and pieces she knew I'd like throughout the year on sale or in a shop window, then squirrel them away in her wardrobe and wrap them individually under the tree.

I always thought all my Christmases had come at once when I saw so many gifts thoughtfully selected.

So I do the same for my adult children - spreading out larger gift-wrapped presents around the tree and filling the pillowcases and stockings they've had since birth with a little something they need, something they want and something a little quirky.

The items aren't always expensive but some thought has gone into the gift-buying for the specific individual.

My dear old mum always taught me to be grateful for what I'm given (no matter what it is).

That's why I can't really understand the current trend towards what I call the Christmas Cop-out: Secret Santa junk from the dollar shop ... Re-gifting items you received last Christmas and didn't want so you fob it off to another sucker ... Bulk-buying one item for convenience and presenting it to each family member in a "one-size-fits-all", "open-it-all-together" fiasco.

Maybe that's OK for a workplace laugh but for your loved ones, why give anything at all? Surely it would be better to keep your money in your pocket and spoil your friends and loved ones with your time instead?

An IOU for a game of tennis or a leg massage or a picnic?

Think of all the time you'll save not going through your cupboards for cr-p or searching dollar shops for The. Worst. Present. Ever.