Is it just me or is Christmas shopping not as frantic nowadays?
There are two very good reasons.
It's becoming common practice for families to peel back their expectations or introduce money-saving ideas such as Secret Santas. If your family hasn't done this already, start now. It's very acceptable in these trying economic times.
Also, the stress of having to rush to the shops before they close doesn't seem to exist any more, not to mention the added bonus of having free parking in the central city until Christmas Eve thanks to the Rotorua District Council.
There are officially six days of shopping left before Christmas Day and given the stores' opening hours, that's plenty of time.
Take a look at the next few days - there really shouldn't be any excuse not to make it to the checkouts. Local retailers are extending their hours and days of work, as are the big box stores. Most of the big stores are open until either 9pm, 10pm or midnight in the coming days.
For those of us with kiddies, it makes life so much easier. We can get dinner, bath and bedtimes out of the way before heading into town to get the Christmas shopping sorted.
Retailers should also be starting to cash in during the next few days and see a return of the old-fashioned shopper as the number of days to buy gifts online starts to run out.
It must be a stressful time for the retail sector right now, so from this shopper, consider this my personal thank you for the long hours you work.