The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page - WORDS// RACHAEL JANSEN

The post­man al­ways rings twice or, in the case of a work­ing mother with a week to go un­til Christ­mas, the post­man might as well just move in. With­out him, the gift of giv­ing would be a very small gift in­deed at my place.

Christ­mas shop­ping in the week lead­ing up to Christ­mas is some­thing I’ve been able to avoid for more than a decade and I’ve no in­ten­tion of head­ing there now, es­pe­cially when I have a man on a mo­tor­bike do­ing all the heavy lift­ing for me.

He has been call­ing by al­most daily for the past few weeks, leav­ing a steady stream of brown card­board pack­ages and plas­tic-wrapped en­velopes at the door, sav­ing me from car parks, queues and carols play­ing on re­peat.

I am a Christ­mas tragic and I love Christ­mas shop­ping – it’s in my fond­mem­ory DNA, hav­ing had an an­nual rit­ual with my mum since I was a child of head­ing off for a big day (some­times two) of re­tail re­ward. So I can deal with queues and don’t mind the carols at all. Un­less...

Un­less I’m ac­com­pa­nied by my kids, the male of the species in par­tic­u­lar, who has al­most zero tol­er­ance for shop­ping.

Look, he’s good for one trip, maybe two, es­pe­cially if it in­volves a toy sec­tion, but this is Christ­mas and I have a list al­most as long as Santa’s so an hour or two only just cov­ers my cof­fee break.

In or­der to avoid di­vorc­ing my chil­dren this fes­tive sea­son, much of my shop­ping has been af­ter hours, with the click of a but­ton.

Hence the post­man knows more about what’s hap­pen­ing at our place this Christ­mas than my hus­band does (which is not un­usual – he gen­er­ally waits un­til the presents are opened to ask peo­ple what he gave them). The up­side of on­line shop­ping – apart from the whole home de­liv­ery thing – is that you can sup­port bou­tique stores who once wouldn’t have been able to com­pete with the depart­ment gi­ants.

The down­side is the wait­ing game. Will it or won’t it ar­rive on time, or show up at all? As the clock ticks down, the sense of ex­pec­ta­tion and ten­sion rises and the idea that some­one will be sit­ting present-less around the tree is be­com­ing a real pos­si­bil­ity.

It won’t be me though. That’s the other up­side of on­line shop­ping. No one no­tices the lit­tle ex­tras in the cart. It’s just between me and the post­man.

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