Christmas secret: Be budget-conscious
By JANE GARDNER
JANELLE Harris has figured out the secret to stress-free Christmas shopping ? only buy what you can afford and don't leave it until the last minute.
Although she admitted to spending upward of $2000 on gifts this year, she believes having kids has made the experience 'much more expensive'.
"What gets me is the amount of advertising toy companies do before Christmas, aimed directly at the kids," she said.
"My son Jai wants everything he sees on television, including the barbie dolls, and I've just learnt to tell him straight away that I can't afford it."
The young family could easily have become lost in the hundreds of eager shoppers roaming the aisles at Lismore Shopping Square at the weekend.
Like many others, they've chosen to spend their money at the newly-refurbished $40 million centre.
"I just love the Square, because now we don't have to go to Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast and it's got everything you need," Janelle said.
Meanwhile, as Lismore Shopping Square overflows with shoppers to standing room only, things are a bit quieter in the Lismore CBD.
Manager of Book Warehouse on Keen Street, Angela Axford, said she hoped people would come back to the downtown shopping district.
"Trade has been really slow compared to last year," she said.
"There just doesn't seem to be any people around.
"I hope people come back to the CBD."