Christmas a time to shop and then relax

WELL, that's sorted for another year.

The Christmas presents are off on their way to NZ for the grandies, and for siblings' secret Santa offering.

We're a bit late this year.

Last year, it was all done in July and I took them all over in my suitcase during a visit for oldest son's 40th.

But not to worry, the beginning of December should be still fine to reach their destinations in time for the big day.

This year's shopping expedition was a little more hectic than last year's, mainly because everyone else had the same idea.

We had to wend our way through crazy crowds of whining kids, frustrated parents and others rushing to get the job done as quickly as humanly possible.

We are pretty conservative when it comes to Christmas gifts, it seems.

The kids in NZ love the clothing from our chain stores, because they are different to the stuff available over there.

Well, that's what they say on Christmas Day when we do the big ring around.

We won't be heading that way this Christmas, but we aren't too sad because we know we have a trip in store for March 2015 for second child's 40th and father-in-law's 90th - and that's only a bit over three months away.

You know, you can give your kids and grandkids a pretty cool Christmas and it doesn't need to cost that much.

They are more than happy to get a few cool things that don't need to cost an arm and a leg.

Best thing you can give your kids at Christmas is heaps of love and encouragement - spend that special family time together.

It's the time we don't have 'time' for during the year when we are all flat out at work, working late, working shifts or whatever.

Get out there and play a game of backyard cricket, or take them to the beach for a swim.

What a brilliant way to spend Christmas Day.

This year, I'm planning to stay away from eating too much food, and just relaxing with my beloved and making those calls to family.

Enjoy yours too - once you've finished the Christmas shopping.