Alstonville residents Jeff and Sharon Braby beat the Christmas rush while cars queue up for parking space.
Alstonville residents Jeff and Sharon Braby beat the Christmas rush while cars queue up for parking space.

Last-minute rush for gifts a gender bender

By DAWN COHEN

JEFF BRABY went Christmas shopping for the first time in his life on Saturday.

His wife usually does it alone, but in the last days of frantic purchases, the Alstonville couple let pragmatism win out over gender roles.

"It hurts my back," said Mr Braby. "But it's funny, it puts you in a good mood."

Sharon Braby has mixed feelings about the change.

"He complains about his back all the time. But he produces the credit card, and carries the heavy stuff," she said.

"The best thing is it's nice to have someone share the decisions."

Lismore's Woodlark Street was packed, but Sue Pascoe, manager of Strand Bags, thought business was not as good as in previous years.

"It has been patchy. Some shoppers probably have not started yet," she said.

"I think people are doing Secret Santas where everyone receives and buys one gift instead of a whole lot.

"Perhaps adults are doing Secret Santas while kids are still getting the full deal."

Toy Kingdom was doing good trade. Sales assistant Rachel Ogden said it had been slow and steady up to now.

"But today is a mad rush, bigger than last year," she said.

Andrew and Allyson Harris reckon it is as busy as ever.

The Yamba couple always come to Lismore to do their shopping.

"We always leave it to the last minute. It is more fun that way. The kids gave Santa a very long list so we know what to get. We also bought a king-size bed. So that is our present to our- selves," Allyson said.



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