How to buy a gift to remember and support locals

IT'S that dreaded time of year again - the time when shopping centres are full of bright lights, merry tunes and people.

December is approaching, and that can mean only one thing - it's Christmas time.

Yes, 'tis the season to spend a lot of time and money on buying presents for your loved ones.

However, we think we may have the answer to this problem.

This year, instead of flocking to shopping centres - especially out-of-town shopping centres - why not give your friends and family an experience as opposed to a material present?

Personally, I have decided to buy my nieces and nephew surfing lessons down at Agnes Water.

Not only do I know that I get to provide my family with an awesome experience, but I also gain the satisfaction that I am supporting a local business - all for just $17 a child.

It could be as simple as buying tickets to local events such as the Boyne Tannum Hook-up, a family event, with tickets starting at $75 for senior competitors.

On average, Australians spend $374 on gifts each year around Christmas time.

As community members of the Gladstone Region, if all 64,000 of us were to buy our Christmas gifts locally, we would be injecting about $24 million into our local economy.

However, as we have said time and time again, this money often goes towards out-of-town shops and businesses.

So if this year at Christmas time you are looking for a way to escape from the shopping centres and gain the satisfaction that comes from helping your local economy, I suggest looking into some of the fun and exciting experiences around the region for your friends and family to enjoy.