Christmas shopping, done right

Christmas is only eight weeks away.

I know. I KNOW.

Shopping at Robina Town Centre over the weekend, it was clear that Christmas crowds are already in full swing. Parking was at a premium, shoppers were rushing about, and many of the stores were holding epic sales with up to 40-50% off. It was all great fun.


But before you start spending a small fortune as you work your way through your Christmas list, I urge Gold Coasters to really put some thought into what they spend their hard-earned money on this Christmas season.

Instead of yet another new tshirt, a bottle of aftershave or more toys for the kids’ playrooms, what if you gave gifts that actually mattered?

I was listening to Flan, Emily Jade and Christo this morning, and they interviewed Simone Patterson from The Sanctuary Refuge. Simone has created a safe place for families affected by domestic violence. To date it’s been completely self-funded by Simone and her family, but they desperately need help to keep it going.

It got me thinking… I could get my mum a pair of earrings and movie tickets for Christmas. But she’d probably be thrilled if I only spend $50 on her gift, and donated the other $50 to the Sanctuary on her behalf.

There are so many other needy causes, too. One of my favourite local charities is ACT for KIDS, which is committed to preventing and treating child abuse and neglect (a sentence that truly shouldn’t exist). You could buy your loved ones some tickets in their fundraising lottery, which gives you the chance to win a brand new BMW, while also supporting a charity that does incredible work.

Or, if you like the idea of spending your money somewhere where it’s going to make a difference, but you also really like handing over a tangible gift rather than a donation, consider shopping at places like Oxfam, Animals Asia, or the Australian Koala Foundation.

When you buy these products, all of the profits go to directly to the charity to continue doing their amazing work, so everyone wins.

However you decide to shop this silly season, do it mindfully. If we all pledged just a small portion of our shopping money towards those less fortunate this Christmas, we could truly make an impact. After all, as Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, once said: “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.”