Fru­gal Christ­mas is here

The Northland Age - - Local Life / Opinion -

Don’t know about you, but as we tear Novem­ber from the wall cal­en­dar, a sense of fore­bod­ing sets in — De­cem­ber: Christ­mas only weeks away!

Fru­gal­ity of­ten re­quires plan­ning, and three weeks or so doesn’t seem like enough time. Never fear, oily rag sug­ges­tions are near!

Here are some ideas for a great fru­gal Christ­mas.

One oily rag­ger writes, “Dur­ing the year I have ac­cu­mu­lated lots of re­ward points which I am giv­ing as gifts. In ad­di­tion to the vouch­ers, I will make a food item for each per­son so they will get an ed­i­ble hand­made gift, and a re­cy­cled card. That’s what I call a fru­gal and stress-free Christ­mas!”

We reckon gift cards are a great way to go, es­pe­cially when a suit­able gift for that some­one is not ob­vi­ous. The great thing is that many oil rag­gers have squir­relled away re­ward points dur­ing the year, which can be con­verted to gift cards. So no cash out­lay, and the lucky per­son re­ceiv­ing the card can use them in the post-Xmas sales to max­i­mum ad­van­tage. It makes so much sense. Just a re­minder that you need to al­low a week or two for the vouch­ers to ar­rive in the post — so get re­deem­ing!

We have also been hav­ing a think about what to do with all of those presents that are sim­ply not loved. In days gone by, the prezzie cur­rency used to be a bot­tle of wine — if not wanted it was sim­ply given to some­one else. Nowa­days we no­tice that fewer peo­ple are drink­ing al­co­hol, so wine doesn’t al­ways make the grade when try­ing to make an im­pres­sion — un­less it’s re­ally ex­pen­sive and the per­son re­ceiv­ing it knows it’s ex­pen­sive! We think the new cur­rency is a bot­tle of olive oil — a good qual­ity cold-pressed bou­tique va­ri­ety, pro­duced lo­cally. Lo­cally pro­duced honey is an­other great idea, and, even bet­ter, honey comb — yum!

But here are some sug­ges­tions to deal with the prob­lem of un­wanted presents:

■ Sell them and save the money or use it to buy some­thing you need.

■ If you do give the present to some­one else be care­ful that you don’t give it to the per­son who gave it to you! The eas­i­est way to keep track is to keep the card it came with — or write the name of the giver on the par­cel.

■ Re­turn the gift or ex­change it at the store, but you will need the re­ceipt or an ex­change card.

■ Do­nate the gift to a rel­a­tive/friend or to a char­ity shop.

■ Use it for some other pur­pose. For ex­am­ple, if some­one gives you an un­usual shirt you could put in the fancy dress box.

■ Swap the gifts with oth­ers who also re­ceived “un­wanted” presents. Here’s an idea: Christ­mas swap meet­ings — ev­ery­one gath­ers around on Box­ing Day and ex­changes stuff they don’t re­ally need!

We have a chal­lenge for you. Do you have any ideas for generic gifts that suit the per­son who is im­pos­si­ble to buy a present for? The oily rag com­mu­nity and mil­lions of fran­tic Xmas shop­pers would love to hear from you! We will post your sug­ges­tions on our oilyrag.co.nz web­site as soon as we re­ceive them!

One great idea is a bas­ket of fruit and veges — and eggs if you have hens or ducks — from your own back­yard? Add some home-bak­ing, and, hey presto, you have a per­fect gift! Na­tional has sup­ported the sec­ond read­ing of the Medic­i­nal Cannabis Bill with fu­ture sup­port re­quir­ing the Gov­ern­ment to ac­cept a num­ber of changes pro­posed by the Na­tional Party.

Na­tional voted in favour of this Bill (last week), out­lin­ing that Na­tional’s fu­ture sup­port de­pends on the Gov­ern­ment’s ac­cep­tance of a num­ber of Sup­ple­men­tary Or­der Pa­pers (SOPs) that I will in­tro­duce dur­ing the com­mit­tee stage.

This Bill, in its cur­rent form is loose and un­work­able and has been widely crit­i­cised by the med­i­cal com­mu­nity, stake­hold­ers and the wider pub­lic.

Ridicu­lously, the

Bill would make it le­gal for peo­ple with a ter­mi­nal ill­ness to pos­sess and use cannabis but il­le­gal for peo­ple to sup­ply it to them.

Our SOPs will sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove this Bill and are based on the sig­nif­i­cant work that I have done on my Mem­bers’ Bill.

We want to that en­sure New Zealan­ders in need can ac­cess high-qual­ity medic­i­nal cannabis prod­ucts to ease their suf­fer­ing.

The changes we are seek­ing would im­prove ac­cess and af­ford­abil­ity in­clud­ing fast-track­ing pro­vi­sional MedSafe con­sent­ing of new medic­i­nal cannabis medicines and phar­ma­cist dis­pens­ing as well as cre­at­ing a work­able li­cens­ing regime.

We would not sup­port the Bill per­mit­ting the smok­ing of loose leaf cannabis and have con­cerns for any med­i­cal con­di­tions that are in­cluded in the Bill.

This should be left to ex­perts and not politi­cians un­der the guise of med­i­cal need.

If the Gov­ern­ment won’t work with Na­tional on mak­ing such im­prove­ments to the Bill we will not be able to sup­port the Bill at any fur­ther stages.

The Gov­ern­ment’s bill is poorly de­signed, rushed leg­is­la­tion which the me­dia has called ‘leg­isla­tive lazi­ness’ and raises more ques­tions than an­swers.

We want to work with the Gov­ern­ment to fix this Bill to en­sure that medic­i­nal cannabis prod­ucts are made avail­able to New Zealan­ders who need them with an ap­pro­pri­ate regime in place in a frac­tion of the time of their cur­rent plan. ■ Health Min­is­ter David Clark has pro­posed changes to the medic­i­nal cannabis leg­is­la­tion that will ex­tend its use to all peo­ple need­ing pal­lia­tive re­lief, rather than just those with a year or less to live.

“It will mean many New Zealan­ders liv­ing in pain will have an­other op­tion to find re­lief,” Clark said. Clark out­lined the planned changes dur­ing the sec­ond read­ing of the Mis­use of Drugs (Medic­i­nal Cannabis) Amend­ment Bill in Par­lia­ment last week.

The changes in­clude ex­tend­ing cov­er­age to those in pal­lia­tive care; ex­tend­ing cov­er­age to those with de­bil­i­tat­ing pain; and ex­tend­ing cov­er­age to those with ter­mi­nal ill­nesses.

"The great thing is that many oil rag­gers have squir­relled away re­ward points dur­ing the year, which can be con­verted to gift cards. "

"The changes we are seek­ing would im­prove ac­cess and af­ford­abil­ity in­clud­ing fast-track­ing pro­vi­sional MedSafe con­sent­ing of new medic­i­nal cannabis medicines and phar­ma­cist dis­pens­ing . . . "

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