Jin­gle bells, spend­ing swells

Taranaki Daily News - - Front Page - Christina Per­sico

There’s no logs on the fire but one New Ply­mouth mum al­ready has the gifts for her tree – 47 sleeps be­fore Christ­mas.

In fact Court­ney Bel­grave some­times has her Christ­mas shop­ping all wrapped up as early as June or July – although she’s been known to add lit­tle ex­tras.

‘‘Peo­ple just get ex­tra presents as we go along, closer to the time, be­cause I love Christ­mas,’’ she says. ‘‘But I try to avoid go­ing into town close to Christ­mas be­cause it’s just chaos.

‘‘Even just go­ing su­per­mar­ket shop­ping, I just try and avoid it and buy gro­ceries on­line.’’

She makes her list of peo­ple to buy presents for and sticks to it, tick­ing them off as she buys their gift.

‘‘I just think peo­ple just try and wait for sales but the sales are bet­ter be­fore Christ­mas so you might as well get it at Labour week­end. If you spread it out it’s not so hard on ev­ery­one.’’

Her ad­vice to those who shop on the night be­fore Christ­mas: don’t.

Re­tail­ers also rec­om­mend shop­pers start as early as pos­si­ble be­cause the Christ­mas month is get­ting busier and busier.

Last De­cem­ber Ki­wis spent

$5.9 bil­lion in card trans­ac­tions, ac­cord­ing to Pay­mark, up 6.6 per cent from the year be­fore.

‘‘The last half an hour on Christ­mas Eve, the peo­ple who are com­ing in are con­fused and ex­hausted and not sure what they want,’’ said Pop­pies book­store man­ager Ruth Bruhin.

Get­ting it done early took the stress away from both the shop staff and the cus­tomer, she said.

‘‘It also gives us a chance to se­cure things that go out of stock at sup­pli­ers and won’t be avail­able again un­til Fe­bru­ary.’’

Shops have had their dec­o­ra­tions up for at least a month, and New Ply­mouth’s Babylove store has been bring­ing in ex­tra stock early.

‘‘Par­ents es­pe­cially have been com­ing in and say­ing they want to get or­gan­ised early this year,’’ co-owner Bev Car­ley said.

‘‘Peo­ple were want­ing gifts wrapped for Christ­mas from early Oc­to­ber.’’

Sales are up com­pared to the last six years, she said.

‘‘I’m ex­pect­ing hec­tic – we’ve had to take on more staff.’’

Urenui mum Saman­tha Bevins is ex­pect­ing her third baby in mid-De­cem­ber so she needs to be or­gan­ised.

‘‘I col­lect things through­out the year,’’ she said.

She rec­om­mends shop­ping lo­cal, and order­ing on­line can be a life­saver with young kids in the pic­ture, and they of­ten have free de­liv­ery if you spend a cer­tain amount.

‘‘My ad­vice to other young mums – don’t over­think the presents. Try and keep them sim­ple.

‘‘You don’t have to spend lots of money for the kids to have fun at Christ­mas time.’’

ANDY JACK­SON/STUFF

New Ply­mouth’s Court­ney Bel­grave has fin­ished all of her Christ­mas shop­ping for this year.

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