Christmas comes early
By RENEE REDMOND
WHEN it comes to Christmas, Cassandra Parker gets into the spirit early ? really early.
Her Christmas shopping is complete by February, presents are wrapped before July and the Christmas tree and lights are being put up on the first day of November.
"We like to start the joy of Christmas early," Mrs Parker said.
The Parkers are not the only ones. All across the region there are those getting in early for Christmas.
Department stores have already begun flooding their shelves with Christmas lights, decorations and chocolate stockings, and toy store lay-by departments are filling up fast.
Lismore Toy Kingdom sales assistant Rachel Ogden said their customers had been buying Christmas presents since July.
"Our Christmas lay-by starts in July and a lot of people do their shopping early to make sure they get the toys their kids want," she said.
"Most of the popular toys sell out weeks before Christmas."
For the Parkers, from Richmond Hill, Christmas is about spending time with family and celebrating the birth of Jesus.
"We have a fruit cake every year on Christmas Day and we sing Jesus, Happy Birthday," she said.
"Our Christmas celebrations go from Christmas Day until December 29."
Mrs Parker and husband of 18 years, Fred, have three sons, Shayne, 22, Bronson, 23, and John, 28.
"My sons bring their girlfriends over and no matter how hot it is we always have hot turkey, chicken and roast lamb for lunch," she said.
"The girls all pitch in and help with cooking and the boys sit around
Mrs Parker said she often invited people from her church, the Lismore Family Christian Fellowship, who were alone at Christmas to join her family for lunch.
Lismore Shopping Square centre manager, Geoff Gooch, said centre decorations would be put up on November 11.
Mr Gooch said Big W and Kmart were among those stores getting into Christmas early with trees, decorations and gift ideas galore.