COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
By BELINDA SCOTT
THE countdown starts today ? it's exactly one month to Christmas Day and the shoppers are off and running.
Popular seasonal personality, Mr S Claus, is already in residence at Park Beach Plaza, where he said yesterday that evergreen doll favourite Barbie was still going strong in the popularity stakes, as was the Barbie DVD.
Out of his 'mile-long' list of requests from children he also picked Dora the Explorer dolls for girls and remote-controlled cars and trucks and Roboraptors for boys, as well as scooters, bikes and trampolines for both sexes.
"But a lot of them just like surprises," he said.
"Lists are small this year. Kids have been told to tell Santa to ask for just one thing they really want."
Coffs Harbour Toyworld's Lisa Rae said no toy had emerged a clear favourite this year, but remote-controlled vehicles of every size from thumbnail to ride-in were popular, as were traditional wooden toys for smaller children.
Good news for everyone planning their holiday feast ? ham and pork prices are still the same as last year, says butcher Craig Slater of Coffs Harbour's Triple C Meats, who has hams priced at $8.89 a kilogram and roasting pork at $8.99 a kilo.
Kalang River oyster farmer John Lindsay said consumers could expect plenty of first class oysters for Christmas at $9.90 a dozen opened.
Santa's next outdoor appearance this month will be tomorrow at 8pm at Dorrigo Show, with his arrival followed by fireworks at 8.15pm.
Coffs Harbour City Centre will welcome Santa and two real live reindeer at 11am on December 3.
This will see music and games for children in the City Square with Kids Biz, face painting, temporary tattoos, photos with Santa and the launch of City Centre Christmas Cash by the Coffs Coast Advocate and city centre retailers, giving shoppers the opportunity to win $10,000 or $2000 off their credit card.
Santa will move into Palms Shopping from December 4 and will be found there most days until Christmas Eve, with Mrs Claus joining her husband to meet the public as the big day draws closer.
You can do your own bit to make the world a warmer place this month by adopting a local needy family.
Four Coffs Coast charities and the Coffs Coast Advocate have joined forces in this appeal.
Of the 114 families listed by St Vincent de Paul, Lifehouse Care; Lifeline and the Salvation Army, 49 have already been adopted and you can find the details of the other 65 and how to help in to- day's Coffs Coast Advocate.