Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas shopping

I've done it!

And I've also discovered the secret to speedy, efficient, fun Christmas shopping.

What is it? I hear you ask eagerly. Make a list? Well, I'm sure that's helpful, but no, I didn't have a list. Shop online? Well, perhaps. I must admit I did buy one item on line and it was such fun and so easy, I think I should try that more often in the future. But no, my secret is...

...take a man shopping with you!!!

I'll tell you how it worked for me.

Yesterday, we went to Cairns. First, I have to admit to the strangest feeling of country bumpkin-ness after living on our quiet little hillside for six weeks. All those cars and buildings and two legged animals!!!

We bought floor tiles for our extension -- terra cotta to match what's already here and to match the red mud!

And then we headed for Cairns Central, which is a fabulous two storey shopping mall, much bigger and better than anything we have in Townsville (Cairns being such a tourist-centred place, has every conveniency).

Now... shopping. I have four children and their assorted spouses/ partners; three grandchildren, sisters, and a mother, plus the odd friend to buy for, so it's always quite a business. But I have never before done my Christmas shopping with my husband!

This is how it went. As soon as I walked in, I saw a lovely, red and white trousers and top set, that I thought would be perfect for Christmas Day.

Normally, I would think how nice it was and walk on.
"Try it on," says Elliot.
Sensing his enthusiasm, the saleswoman came over and the two of them became a cheer squad. Before I knew I had this perfect Christmas outfit wrapped in tissue and "in the bag"!

It was already late morning, because we'd had business in Atherton on the way, so I was anxious to push on with shopping for others. But Elliot insisted we have lunch first. A cup of tea and a toasted sandwich would be my normal shopping lunch. But no, we had to go to Toscas, where I had soup and Elliot had fajitas, which were rather yum.

But what about the shopping?

I could see myself arriving home with no presents and the daunting task of another shopping session when I got back to Townsville. But then Elliot really came into his own. As I began to wander in my usual daze, I'd say, "I think so and so might like ... and I'd drift towards a shop, stand in front of a dazzling array, touch one item...
And Elliot would step forward. "Get it," he'd say. "It's perfect!"
And suddenly, I'd look at this iten with renenwed interest and realise that yes, it was perfect. So and so would love it!

You will realise that I'm rather dim-witted. This happened half a dozen times before I cottoned on that it was a deliberate ploy of my husband's. Every time I looked at a promising possibility, I would hear: "Get it! It's perfect for X!"

It worked!!

Within two hours, we were both laden with shopping bags and feeling just a tad like like Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in "Pretty Woman" -- except that only two items were clothes for us and the rest were wonderful Christmas presents.

Of course, I now have to hope that the recipients of theses gifts really do like them, but I think they will. And I slept so well last night, secure in the knowledge that this huge task was behind me.

But you've no idea how lovely it was to drive away from the coast, up over the mountains to our quiet green Tableland.

We also called in at a nursery and bought 8 trees on the way home and planted them all as soon as we got back.

No comments: