It is the big countdown until Christmas -“ for those of you who are that way inclined. Now I have firsthand knowledge from the big guy in the red suit that there are more boys and girls on the nice list this year. Apparently a lot of people have had a change of heart and are now respecting each other.

What amuses me is the fact that the big guy hasn’t caved in to the get-fit programs that have been very popular over the last few years. Even with all the parental concern about their children getting fatter, jolly Santa still promotes an unhealthy lifestyle.

I think it is only a matter of time before a new slim-line Santa graces cards and shopping centres worldwide. Maybe we will see him on the next season of The Biggest Loser. You never know.

I went to a shopping centre at the weekend. It was hideous -“ teeming with festive silliness. There were screaming children with parents screaming right back at them; there were mothers screaming at the top of their lungs, What do you mean you have sold out of [insert name of expensive gift that will distract child for hours here]?

There were men looking very frightened and bewildered in jewellery and lingerie stores. Actually, there were men looking rather bewildered in a number of places -“ even the gay ones.

There were even those lovely young women who think it is entirely more important to talk on their mobile phone and the person standing next to them instead of stepping to one side on the escalator so everyone else can get through.

I’m actually not really interested that Bethany’s boyfriend just got busted with Martin’s ex who really doesn’t have a leg to stand on after she slept with Corrine’s boyfriend. Shut up! He so did not say that!

So after trawling the stores, the one thing -“ well several things -“ I want for Christmas other than world peace are hair clippers, a label maker, a Wii console, new shoes, DVDs, CDs, books, an iPod, a green suit, a nice bottle of red wine, a new car, an LCD TV, a car service, a massage and a working phone. You can send all gifts to me via the SSO office.

Or, if you are so inclined, you can still leave items of food at the SSO office for those gorgeous people at the Luncheon Club who are out there every day -“ regardless of public holidays -“ helping those in need in our community. You need to drop off your donation by lunchtime Friday.

But whatever you do these holidays, do it loud, do it proud and do it safely. See you next year.

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