A few random Christmas observations (with photos, at the bottom):
1) The nice thing about having two jobs is that I have the "last day of work before Christmas" twice. Which meant being let off early, one day, and having a big staff Christmas barbeque the next day.
2) I had a strange e-mail a couple of days ago telling me not to come in to work because of the bad weather conditions in Portland, Oregon. Which would all have made perfect sense if I actually lived in Portland, Oregon. I don't think my boss would have appreciated me phoning up and saying "I can't come into work because it's snowing in Portland."
3) For last minute shopping I decided to avoid the malls and went into the centre of town, where it was surprisingly uncrowded. Although I'm told that the malls weren't as crowded as usual, either. I saw an item on TV on the recession in the US, where one "woman in the street" said she was only spending $2000 last year (as opposed to $7000 last year). Somehow I felt strangely unsympathetic. A spare $2000 would be very nice, thank you.
4) Having said that, apparently the spending in New Zealand is also down to about 75% of last year.
While I was in town I stopped to look at the Ballantynes Christmas windows. Some pictures for your enjoyment (mostly close up , because the only way I could avoid reflections was to put the camera right up to the glass)