11 November

Remotely interested in shopping

Buying presents through the internet or by old-school mail order is particularly good for people who live a long way away because you can have the present delivered directly to their address.[1]

Some caveats:

  • If you want it to be a surprise, perhaps you can address it to someone else in the household and ask them to keep it from the recipient.[2]
  • Some of these websites have gift wrapping services but some don’t.
  • If you’re sending a present to someone who lives overseas, buy it from a website based in their country and organise local postage.[3]
11 nov 2016.jpg
Post haste.

Christmas Day 1970: Mum wanted to put Matthew to bed after our Mallee cousins left. Dad suggested that he skip his nightly bath but Mum looked at his jelly-smeared hands[4] and the mouth that had been eating lollies constantly since the morning and decided bathing wasn’t optional. Matthew didn’t want to miss anything[5] and started crying but then Auntie Pat suggested that Steve (who was a year older and hence a year cooler and a source of much fun)[6] join him in the bath and so the party continued and everything was fine.

[1] This works for nearly everyone but not for my friend Jenny’s brother-in-law when he spent a year in the Antarctic at one of the research stations. (He had a white Christmas, even though it was actually summer.)

[2] My friend Fiona and I cycled around Tasmania together after we left school and each bought our fathers “Tasmanian Wilderness” calendars for Christmas. The calendars came with good, sturdy mailing pouches, which meant we could send them home safely straight away but the pouches were emblazoned with logos that gave the game away. So I sent one to me c/o Fiona’s address and she sent one to herself c/o my address, and we each said, “Oh, it’s for my friend’s dad,” when we got home … but then just kept the one we had in our hands.

[3] Where possible. Not even Father Christmas delivers to Antarctica (even though he’s dressed for it).

[4] He had been forced to use a spoon when eating jelly, but that doesn’t stop a four-year-old from making a mess.

[5] Or perhaps he was resisting yet another change of clothes.

[6] I believe this is when Steve taught Matthew how to make fart sounds by blowing into the crook of his elbow.

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