Tagged With gifts

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Something about the holidays makes people want to gift sweet, homemade treats to each other. Even the most kitchen-avoidant among us flock to theirs to whip up seasonal confections. If you possess such an impulse but, like me, are quite lazy, I have good news: we have many treats you can DIY, with required effort ranging from “falling off a log” to “wow, I must love this person a good bit.”

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Christmas is one of the biggest times for retail in Austrlaia, with billions of dollars expected to be spent on gifts. But while there are lots of sales on, is there a place for used goods on your Christmas shopping list? Some research suggests many of us would be happy with a high quality or unique second hand item rather than a lower quality brand new item.

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It started with a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law (or “Auntie,” as she’s called) several years ago: In trying to choose gifts for all the members of our large family, I was running out of creative ideas. I asked my then four-year-old son what he wanted to give Auntie.

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Some people love giving holiday presents: To them it’s an art, something to be mastered, a fun way to spend an afternoon or two. Others dread the annual giving of gifts, wishing family members would just say what they’d actually like instead of relying on their nearest and dearest to waffle back and forth between the festive socks or the scented lotion.

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In an ideal world, maybe you'd love to spend a large portion of your free time attending the weddings, birthdays and other life cycle events of your nearest and dearest. But life, work, and geographical boundaries often get in the way, making it a tricky a proposition to attend every single milestone event for every single close friend and family member.

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Each Boxing Day, countless Australians take part in the annual tradition of returning unwanted gifts for an exchange or refund. Usually, the retailer accepts the proffered item with no questions asked. But what if they refuse? Are merchants legally obligated to provide a remedy under Australian consumer law or are they allowed to send you packing?

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We're getting to the pointy end of the Christmas shopping season - about 16 days from the time when some us hitting the stores and buy stuff for loved ones at the last possible moment. And that can lead to some questionable shipping decisions. Here are a few things to avoid.

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Not to stress you out, but Christmas is 18 days away. And not to make assumptions about you, but you probably still need to buy gifts for your mum, dad, siblings, nieces and nephews, friends, significant other, office secret Santa, book club white elephant exchange, and that one aunt who always gives you a snow globe.

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Scary story time: You give someone a thoughtful gift certificate, maybe for a massage at the spa they have been eyeing, or for the drawing class they have been talking about wanting to take. You lay out the cash, give them the card. They are thrilled! They thank you. And then, they don't use it.