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feature: gifts and giving Preventing Christmas Chaos

With the biggest gift giving season of the year not too far away, now is the time to start thinking about gifts for family and friends – if you're an organised type, that is. The thought of gift-shopping has reduced many an intelligent adult to a blithering wreck

No, No, No! Thinking about


Fringe on an unofficial survey of The Worst Gifts Ever Received. Here are some of the offerings. • Half-used bottle of 4711 eau de toilette in a case which didn't fit

• An ashtray (for a non-smoker) • Crochet coat hanger • A can of CRC wheel cleaner (from a new boyfriend)

• Cassette of "London Philharmonic does ABBA"

• Pre-used scarf - with stains • Packet of hankies (same ones gifted to wife's brother two years ago)

as they ponder the challenges of buying something that hopefully the recipient will use, if not love. It's no secret that one of TradeMe's biggest trading times starts before the Christmas turkey or pavlova with strawberries and cream have been digested. New Zealand's biggest online trading site reports many thousands of unwanted gifts being listed before day's end with as many as 200,000 searchers looking for bargains. Women's clothing tops the 'unwanted' list (wrong size, wrong style, wrong colour, just wrong) but dvds, car parts and accessories, bikes, barbecues and fishing gear rate too. Sunglasses, handbags and jewellery are up there as well. Regifting (or recycling) is a great environmental

giving led The

initiative and has become more socially acceptable in the last few years but it’s important to remember who gave you the gift in the first place so you don't give it back to them. And don't forget either, to take off the original card and 'love from auntie' message. And perhaps a change from the original (by now creased and crushed) wrapping paper is an idea too. With a couple of months still to go, now is a good

time to make a list of gifts for family and friends so you can avoid the mayhem in malls as stressed last-

minute shoppers fling themselves into the chaos that can be Christmas shopping. Give your creativity a bit of exercise. Think about herbs in attractive pots for the kitchen bench – basil,

thyme, parsley and oregano. Or check out some of the wonderful herbs and spices or specialty foods that are readily available today and which so many of us would appreciate. Interior design stores are also full of interesting ideas for gifts. Local markets, op shops and gardening stores also have gift ideas. Be realistic but have a bit of fun too, and remember it's not a competition to see who can spend the most money. Set your budget now too to avoid buying that expensive blouse for your Mum when she'd really love the gift

that costs nothing but is worth everything – time. – Moira Kennedy

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please support our advertisers – they support us The Fringe OCTOBER 2015 13 SPECIALTY FOOD & GIFTS

WAREHOUSE OPEN Mon to Thurs 9 to 5pm, Fri 9 to 4pm

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3024B Great North Road, New Lynn, Auckland.

Ph: 827 8242

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