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feature The festive season doesn’t need

SCHOOL HOLIDAY PROGRAMME 12th January to 30th January

Trips away are: Tip Top Factory, Movies, Barbeque/games at Cornwallis Beach, Zoo and Inflatable world.

Walks to Titirangi Beach, swim in Debz pool, crafts and cooking with Martha, making cupcakes and your very own Pizza. Last day is shared lunch and Debra’s Bird quiz day. Come dressed as a bird, prizes to be won.

Basic Programme, 9-3pm with before and after care.

Please visit or give us a ring on 817 7448. We would love to hear from you.

Hints that something big is on the horizon have been floating around for a couple of months now. You've noticed the glitzy and shiny decorations in stores and malls, there's much talk of gift buying and giving and plans are underway for parties and meals with family, friends and workmates. Yes, it's the festive season which, in New Zealand, tends to coincide with annual holidays which need to be organised too. It's all on and, for some, Christmas can be the most stressful time of year, on a par with the stress of divorce or being burgled. Worry about money raises its ugly head too as some fall into the trap of unrealistically high expectations that will have financial fallout in the New Year when the bills come in. It doesn't have to be that

way. Parau couple Corrinne and Neil Thomas are all about the simple things in life. Enjoying the time they spend with family and friends, their garden, good fresh food and perhaps a glass of wine. It's not about splurging wildly on fancy gifts but more about fun and laughter.

Corrinne and Neil Thomas: Enjoying the simple things in life

"One of the best present giving times I remember was the year my brother cleared out someone's garden shed and produced a large box of assorted items on Christmas Day," Corrinne says. "He told us all to 'choose your gift and pass the box around.' I think I scored a pair of secateurs but the best thing of all was the fun and laughter we all had. It was priceless. "We don't need to spend a lot of money on gifts to create memories and have great fun." As volunteers with West Auckland's Hospice Megastore in New Lynn, Corrinne and Neil agree there can be great appeal in 'trash and treasure' thinking. "We receive some wonderful donations of pre-loved and new goods and clothing at the store and it's great watching people finding unique gifts for friends or themselves. That kind of shopping experience can be great fun and it's certainly less stress on the budget too." The manager at New Lynn Library, Niki Wright, agrees there's a lot of pressure on people to buy – or expect – expensive gifts. "It's important to wind those high expectations down," she says. "I like the idea of getting family and friends to agree on only buying presents under a certain

Still Taking Orders For All Your

Christmas and Summer Needs Free Range Hams and Turkeys • Organic

Steaks • Award-winning Gluten-free Sausages •

Kebabs, Skewers, Burgers • and All Your Summer requirements. Feel free to give us a call anytime.

26 The Fringe DECEMBER 2014 – JANUARY 2015

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