Shoppers out in festive force
RETAILERS are already revelling in Bundaberg's Christmas spirit, as the shopping hordes are well into their festive season gift search.
Shops across Bundaberg are taking the early busy period as a good sign ahead of the most hectic time about a week before Christmas.
Crimson & Clover Giftware owner Kez Armstrong is preparing to face her first Christmas shopping season.
"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster," she said.
Ms Armstrong said at times the family business was run off its feet, but other times were a bit quiet.
"Saturdays are great days," she said.
So far, she had noticed some definite trends in the type of gifts people were buying.
"My number one seller is Beanie Babies," she said.
"I'm also the only place in town with glass platters - I think I did about $300 in one day on glass platters alone."
For the gentlemen, Ms Armstrong said NRL merchandise had been a popular seller.
A few shops down in Nature's Emporium, clothes were a popular gift for buyers.
Owner Chris Dimes said so far the 2011 festive season had been "on par" with last year.
"Through the next two to three weeks we expect it to get busier," he said.
Mr Dimes said people were spending a little more this year than in 2010.
At Hinkler Central Shopping Centre, the North Bundaberg Lions have noticed the gift period starting to ramp up since Saturday.
The gift wrappers, who charge just a gold coin donation, have been at the centre since the end of November, wrapping gifts in Christmas paper.
"It has started to pick up a little this year," Lions club president Coral Mayfield said.
While Ms Mayfield was not sure how much had been raised this year, she said the club aimed to raise up to $6000.
She said it was also too early to notice a trend in what people were buying as gifts.
And as for the worst gift to wrap?
"TVs - they are just so big and usually take about three of us to do," she said.
"If it's an unusual shape, it's best to wrap it so it looks nothing like what it is."
Both Hinkler Central Shopping Centre and Sugarland Shoppingtown have reported busy starts to the Christmas shopping period.