23 December 2022

And so this is Christmas ... your presence tastefully required

| Sally Hopman
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Santa snowdome

Hard to believe that some people may not be thrilled to receive a snowdome for Christmas – they clearly have no taste. Photo: Sally Hopman.

Dear Santa, the top 10 things I want for Christmas are:

  1. World peace.
  2. Keanu Reeves’ home phone number.
  3. No dog pounds – because all the unwanted dogs would live at my house.
  4. Snowdomes
  5. For Bob Dylan to sound like he did in 1960
  6. More snowdomes
  7. To not be so judgemental
  8. Ability to turn rain on and sun off. And vice versa. Anytime.
  9. Unlimited stuff to give to people who need it.
  10. Ability to differentiate between people who really need stuff and those who could con for Australia.

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Repeat 1 and 5 till they come true. Okay, and 2. Keep plodding away at 7 – not that I need to but I know what I’m talking about …

I have to admit I’m not a total fan of festiveness. I prefer buying stuff for people when I see it, at other times of the year, when I see something I think they’ll like. Also, pork makes me oink and fighting your way through stinky people in shops buying stuff they wouldn’t consider buying at any other time of the year, well, they can have it. In bags.

But I stand firm when it comes to gifts. I’ll take ’em. All of ’em, from whoever. It’s unkind not to.

Even the one from a previous employer on Christmas Eve – a $20 gift voucher from a sports shop – that was already out-of-date. No criticism here. They were probably just being thoughtful, knowing I don’t do sport.

Nativity scene snowdome

A nativity scene inside a snowdome – there are no words, literally. Photo: Sally Hopman.

But I do love the good that festiveness does bring out in some people. My people.

Family and friends over the years have been the most generous, funny, and thoughtful of souls, getting me stuff that I actually wanted or didn’t know I did want it till I got it. Like my first Christmas dinner as a vegetarian – they made me a turkey shaped out of tofu.

Or the time a friend and I were planning a trip to Tibet, to sit on a mountain for as long as it took for us to become decent people. (We planned on being away quite a while.)

We were heading off around Christmas time, and a group of our friends commissioned a chocolatier in Sydney to make a mountain – from Belgian chocolate. (Told you I had good friends.)

We ate the chocolate, duh, but didn’t end up going to Tibet. Can’t remember why now, but I’m guessing because we could no longer zip up our climbing pants.

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I love how it’s okay to eat lollies for breakfast on Christmas morning, as long as there is tinsel attached, somewhere, and you can wash it down with French bubbles with a token dash of orange juice.

I also love how people are starting to learn they really don’t want their people, regardless of how close they are, to buy them underpants for Christmas and how it’s never a good idea to buy a puppy for someone. Ever.

(Warning: another judgemental bit approaching.) You should never buy a puppy for someone else. They may say they want it but surely they would have got one for themselves if they’d wanted one. You don’t want to hear months later how it got taken to “a farm in the country”. If you don’t believe me, check out the RSPCA post-Christmas and those little faces staring at you from inside the cages, sadly facing a future at said farm.

To whoever is reading this, both of you, may your Christmas and new year be full of the three “F”s – friends, family and (no) face masks.

PS: Don’t worry about making New Year resolutions. If they involve, love, weight or wealth, they mostly only come true for folk called Kardashian – at a price. You can do so much better.

Original Article published by Sally Hopman on Riotact.

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