Second hand Christmas

"If the consumerism and sheer expense of Christmas is sucking the joy out of the season-o-giving for you, here's a tip from my perfect family," writes a reader.

"After bunfights over buying actual presents that received little love, ('It doesn't fit, I'm actually a few sizes bigger') my family decided to do a Bad Taste Op Shop gift challenge each Christmas.

We've been doing it for six years now. The rules are that the item must come from an pre-loved shop and must be displayed in the receiver's home for a whole year.

If it's a painting, it must go on a wall, if it's an ornament it must be displayed on a shelf ... It causes much seasonal mirth and has become quite competitive with the best gifts being the oil painting of the old naked man and the parrot, the Destiny Church calendar and inventively, a Christmas tree."

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We hate to drone on, but ...

"I was under the impression that these invasive things were not allowed in public places," writes Vicky. "Really, really annoying when you are at the beach for some peace and relaxation. I can see this becoming a real problem for NZ."

Evan says Takapuna Beach is within a number of airspace zones where permission should be sought by drone operators from nearby aviation facilities. He says the Civil Aviation Authority has made rules governing their use.

Relevant to this scenario he says "you may only fly over people you have permission from (I guess there is weasel room around what constitutes "overhead") and only fly over areas where the owner (or authorised agency) has given you permission.

But both CAA and Auckland City do say "be considerate of others" and so potentially no rule may have been broken but consideration may not have been shown."

Simple explanations of these rules can be found here.

What a crazy guy!

Mad Hatter: Such a crazy guy but you're only young twice. Photo / Supplied
Mad Hatter: Such a crazy guy but you're only young twice. Photo / Supplied

Ask him and he'll do it

Jim'll Paint It takes requests and if he likes the concept, he'll draw it. He liked this one..."Please can you make a picture of Bono arriving in Africa to let them know it's Christmas time, only to be greeted by The Inland Revenue [sic] holding unpaid tax invoices. With Bob Geldof having already arrived crying in the background because they have repossessed his Feed The World T-shirt?" Go here.

Video Pick

Why our best thoughts come to us in the shower...


Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz