Christmas gifts from the heart, not the hip pocket


Undies and socks, cans of tuna and boxes of cereal. Not likely to top any glossy Christmas list but very much on the mind of two Melbourne school children - Taj, 10, and Sage, 8. As the yuletide juggernaut rolls around for another year, people across Melbourne are dreaming up inventive ways of spreading altruistic cheer. Taj and Sage decided to remodel their family’s bike carrier into a trailer and use it to pick up much-needed Christmas donations like basic foodstuffs and underwear for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. They distributed 150 handmade flyers asking for donations to people in their local neighbourhood in Alphington and returned on their bikes a week later for pickup, which included cards from neighbours who congratulated them on their effort. Indy Lingham had often told his two sons the story of a young man who to Australia as a refugee, escaping through deserts and mountains until at last finding sanctuary. In his case, the young man was not a Biblical figure but a refugee called Mohamm

'Tis the season for awkward questions

Elderly woman, close up, portrait

I think we can all agree that the only thing more fun than plastering on a fake smile while ohhing and ahhing over the ridiculous tea towel your great aunt has just given you, is answering the sorts of awkward questions that inevitably abound over Christmas lunch.