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The Chrisco Corner

June 17, 2020 / Blog

Christmas entertaining made easy

We all know Christmas can be an expensive time, and although gifts might be the main thing on your mind, the reality is it’s the little extras on the side that can soon add up.

For example, catering Christmas lunch can set you back, while the Christmas season in general is a hugely social affair. There are barbecues, street parties, school parties, and the unexpected pop-in from friends or family that can quickly derail even the best-planned budget. 

So, with just a little over six months until Christmas, here are some quick and affordable tips for Christmas entertaining made easy.

Stock up your pantry

Right about now is the perfect time to start stockpiling non-perishable items for your pantry. These are the things you can buy in bulk, get at a good price and have on hand when a crowd unexpectedly descends on your home.

Items like chips, crackers, coffee and biscuits are the ideal entertaining food items to go for, but don’t forget some of the staples as well.

Chances are the festive season will see you busier than normal, so quick meal options are great to have on hand. 

Pasta and noodles are popular, allowing you to whip up a meal in minutes. Meanwhile sweet treats like chocolate and Tim Tams are always a welcome addition, and even general items like cereal can save you time and effort in the busy season.

Consider your meat needs

Whether it’s summer barbecues, cooked brekkies for the extended family, or Christmas lunch, meat is likely to take a major chunk out of your entertaining budget.

That’s where a little freezer space and some planning comes in handy. By buying meat in bulk and freezing it in advance, you can save a lot on entertaining costs throughout the Christmas period.

When buying meats, factor in variety. Go for quick and easy family favourites like sausages and steak for barbecues, along with roast meats for Christmas Day, and other meal options like mince for those unexpected entertaining moments where you need to whip up a quick bolognaise, tacos or lasagne to feed a famished festive crowd.  

Go with frozen

While you’re stocking that freezer, consider pre-purchasing quick frozen meals and vegetables. Frozen vegetables can help bolster a meal with healthy ingredients or serve as a staple on the side. 

Meanwhile, simple frozen meals like pizza, or chicken nuggets allow you to swiftly roll out a feast for the hungry hordes.

How Chrisco can help

Each year we help Australians affordably manage the Christmas of their dreams. At Chrisco we offer the opportunity to select gift and food items in advance, and pay them off in manageable installments prior to the season of giving.

What’s more, our Christmas hamper range has plenty of options to stock up on pantry staples, meat selections and frozen items. You simply select from our great range, add it to your cart and pay it off in easy installments prior to Christmas.

You can start the journey to a stress-free Christmas by viewing our catalogues here, or call us directly on 1800 830 830 to order your hamper.


May 25, 2020 / Blog

The ultimate pre-Christmas checklist to see you super sorted for Santa

It’s hard to believe but as of the end of June, the countdown is officially on until Christmas. And with the festive season just seven months (30 weeks) away, now is the ideal time to start planning the occasion.

Whether it’s a small family affair or a major social gathering, here is our essential pre-Christmas checklist to help you enjoy every moment of the festive season.

Six months to go

Where? - Right about now is the ideal time to be talking to family and friends about where this year’s big event will take place. If it’s to be your place, six months’ notice allows the perfect amount of time to plan meals, consider food requirements and ponder the house-keeping projects that you might like to complete in advance.

Schedule leave – This is also one of the last opportunities many workplaces will have for scheduling leave. So, check in on whether your workplace is shutting down, or is to remain open and request your holiday leave if you need to.

Book travel – If your Christmas is to be spent interstate or overseas, now is the perfect time to organise your travel arrangements.

Gifts – Believe it or not, six months prior to Christmas is the ideal to be considering gifts, allowing you to stockpile in advance, pay off the bigger items, and ensure everyone is catered for.

12 weeks to go

The Christmas calendar – With just 12 weeks to go, this is the time to start your Christmas calendar, popping in events that are likely to take place over the busy period. In a digital day and age, a shared calendar is a great idea, allowing members of the family to start adding their commitments to the schedule like work Christmas parties, end of year school plays, concerts etc. 

Travel – If you’re driving this Christmas, it’s a good time to book in all those pre-holiday safety checks, while planning the best time and date to hit the road, and the route you will take.

A quick audit – 12 weeks out from Christmas is a great opportunity to take stock of the items you have and the further things you will need. This includes a full gift-list, household items like plates, tableware and decorations, and things like linen supplies if people will be staying at your house.

A rough menu – If you’re hosting Christmas, now is also a great time to write a rough menu of what food you intend to serve, and what types of items you will need. Check in with family and friends to make sure there are no food allergies and you can also start stockpiling non-perishable items. 

Four weeks to go

At this point the festive season gets serious. With just four weeks to go, now is the time to...

  • Purchase and write Christmas cards
  • Plan a detailed Christmas lunch menu
  • Finalise your gift list (including all those little extras like teachers’ gifts or Secret Santas)
  • Locate and dust off the Christmas decorations
  • Check the safety of your Christmas lights
  • Bake and freeze what you can
  • Mail any presents interstate
Three weeks to go

Between the end of school, and work and social commitments, the first week of December sees the festivities begin to ramp up.

At this point, it’s wise to…

  • Start wrapping gifts
  • Buy any last-minute gifts before the shops become too frantic
  • Pre-make some easy meals
  • Stock up on freezable meats and essential items 

And of course, in many households, now is the time to decorate the tree and put up Christmas lights.

Two weeks to go

This week is all about the final preparations and ensuring you have enough non-perishable supplies. It sees the focus on…

  • Locking down your menu
  • Checking in on the numbers of who will be attending Christmas events at your house
  • Purchasing items like alcohol and any additional pantry staples
  • Considering the little things like Christmas music, serviettes, seating arrangements, and household cleaning
  • Buying batteries for children’s toys
  • Pre-preparing what you can
One week to go

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus Lane…

By now your guest numbers should be finalised and the pantry well-stocked, but chances are there will be some small matters that need to be attended to, like:

  • Perishable grocery shopping for fruit and vegetables
  • Last-minute gift wrapping
  • Setting the table
  • Cooking
  • Siting back, relaxing and enjoying the celebrations!
How Chrisco can help

Each year we help Australians affordably manage the Christmas of their dreams. At Chrisco we offer the opportunity to select gift and food items in advance, and pay them off in manageable installments prior to season of giving.

What’s more, our Christmas hampers are delivered or ready for pick-up between mid-November to mid-December, allowing you to avoid the Christmas crowds and giving you plenty of time for wrapping.

Our catalogues have a huge selection of products like toys, gifts, household goods and food, including all your festive favourites, along with a host of bonus extras like competitions and prizes.

You can start the journey to a stress-free Christmas by viewing our catalogues here, or call us directly on 1800 830 830 to order your hamper.


April 27, 2020 / Blog

All the Christmas favourites

At Chrisco, we’ve been working with Australian families for over 20 years to help them enjoy a planned, budgeted and affordable Christmas.

Each year that gives us a fascinating insight into Christmas gift buying trends, along with the everyday items Aussies have on their wish list come the festive season.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just want a sneak peek into all the products that prove popular at Christmas, here’s a list of all the Christmas favourites that rank as our yearly best sellers.

In the food department 

When we first arrived in Australia, we quickly made a name for ourselves for the affordable range of food hampers we offer each year. And when it comes to what’s popular in the pantry, there are some really interesting trends.

Among our best sellers are the ‘Pantry Filler’, ‘Mega Christmas’, ‘Traditional Christmas’ and ‘Mega Holiday’ options. Ranging in size each of these helps families to stock up on essential entertaining items to cater the festive season.  

On top of this Aussies tend to complement their pantry needs with frozen items that they can have on hand to whip up a quick meal for family and friends.

Ranking as hugely popular are the ‘Mixed Veggies’, ‘Plenty of Pizza’, 'Mini Steggler' hampers, and of course the ‘Icy Sticks’ option to cater to some chilled-out fun across the holiday period.  

In the meat department

It’s no secret that an Australian Christmas is all about outdoor entertaining and we see this reflected every year in the meat hampers people choose to buy.

In addition to hampers which include roast meats for Christmas day, ‘BBQ meat’ hampers, ‘Maxi Meat’ and ‘Mega Meat Combo’ are among the perennial faves.  

In the kitchen

As people prepare their homes to cater to the Christmas crowds, the kitchen tends to become a focus. Often shoppers will stock up on necessities like dinnerware, cookware, knives, utensils and even appliances like deep fryers.

Some of these are intended as gifts, but in other cases people are restocking their home in advance of the Christmas rush. 

In the children’s department

Because Chrisco offers Christmas shoppers the chance to buy gifts in advance and pay them off in instalments, we see a major trend in big-ticket items when it comes to gifts for kids.

Each year trampolines prove popular, along with play centres, while bikes and gaming consoles also rank among the best sellers. 

People tend to lock these items in early as the major gift then complement them with items from our ever-popular toy catalogue.

In the gift department

In the gift department, we also see big-ticket items on many shoppers’ lists. These are the dream gifts that would otherwise set people back significantly if they were to purchase them in-store in the Christmas rush.

Among the popular items are laptops, tool sets, entertainment systems and of course the latest tech like smart watches and mobile phones.

Meanwhile, year-in, year-out gift cards rank among our best-sellers as they cater to a range of tastes, cover all the biggest brands and allow the gift recipient to select the present they want most.

About Chrisco

You can see our complete range of best-sellers here or browse our extensive range of catalogues, then either order online or call us directly on 1800 830 830 to order your hamper.


April 3, 2020 / Blog

Christmas, without the credit hangover

A few months into the new year, Christmas 2019 might feel like a distant memory, but for many Australians a financial hangover lingers on.

Statistics reveal over a third of Australians started 2020 with a Christmas credit card debt, and although most have repaid it by the end of February, a quarter will take up to five months or longer to effectively manage the cost of Christmas.

So, as the credit card statements keep coming, how can you better handle the cost of Christmas this year?

Tallying it up

In 2018, CommBank found Australians spend around $11 billion in total, or an average of $573 each when it comes to gifts at Christmas.

Depending on the generation, stage of life and location, that tally can be higher or lower, with the findings further revealing millennials are most likely to splash the cash at Christmas, spending up to $1000 each on gifts.

On top of that there are also additional expenses including travel, decorations and entertainment, all of which hit the household hip pocket hard.

In 2016, CommBank noted Australians spent an average of $226 on entertaining at home, while last year Finder found travel at Christmas set people back a further $471 on average.  

The costs soon add up. And for most Aussies, that means credit will be the first port of call when it comes to managing Christmas expenditure and that quickly comes back to bite in the new year.

The credit crunch

Credit might feel convenient at the time, but for many households a reliance on debt quickly gets out of hand.

Come New Year 2020, Finder found 7.2 million Australians were nursing a Christmas credit card hangover, with the nation having spent $28 billion on credit cards during December 2019.

That not only means many households entered the new year behind the financial eight-ball, they were also paying above and beyond what Christmas should have cost them due to interest.

And it comes at a time of year when back-to-school and new year commitments make the household budget all that much tighter.

What would you do differently?

Christmas 2020 might be more than eight months away, but now is the ideal time to enact a truly worthwhile New Year’s resolution.

Rather than starting next year in debt, why not embrace 2021 with a clean slate free from Christmas credit? - No interest, no nasty credit surprises and no juggling to manage household costs.

That’s where we come in.

At Chrisco we’re all about making the cost of Christmas easy and manageable. With thousands of products, food items and gifts to choose from, we provide the opportunity for customers to plan and pay off Christmas in advance, allowing you to truly enjoy the season of giving, without fear of a credit hangover. 

While many are repaying their Christmas debt, we’re already busy planning the perfect Christmas for December this year.

You can view our range of Christmas 2020 gifts and hampers here. Oh, and the earlier you order, the lower the payments will be. So, here’s cheers to Christmas 2020, without fear of a credit hangover!


March 13, 2020 / Blog

What’s new at Chrisco in 2020

Santa might be snoozing after all the excitement of the festive season but make no mistake at Chrisco the elves are already hard at work planning Christmas 2020.

With another year done and dusted, they’re busy sourcing, gathering and refining all the best ideas, gifts and treats for a truly stress-free Christmas in a little over nine months’ time.

So, what’s new at Chrisco in 2020? Let’s take a sneak peek.

Toys and gifts

Early each year we hit the trail seeking all the latest toys, electronics and gift ideas that are destined to be popular in the year ahead. We then bring these together as part of a hugely popular catalogue section that encompasses gifts for the kids, the big kids, the tech-minded, the outdoors type, the home body and the hard to buy for.

This year you’ll find these fresh gift ideas throughout our new bumper catalogue. And quite frankly, without bragging, we’ve totally outdone ourselves in terms of the range and quality of items on offer!

Mix & match

This year we’re running a Mix & Match offer where you can choose five of your favourite hampers from pages 31-39 of our new catalogue to select a free hamper from page 30. Eight free hamper choices are available, each valued at $93.60.

Why? Well it’s just part of the great value and service we offer in advance of Christmas!

Christmas favourites

Each year, we carefully assess the most popular items from our range and curate them into a selection of hampers for your convenience. This year it’s no different. Our hampers cover all the essentials like meat, frozen goods, sweets, treats, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cleaning products, and pantry fillers.

These are designed to see you through the festive season with ease and feature options tailored to all family and festive occasions over the Christmas season. 

Competitions

Yep, we sure know how to put the fun in festive and this year we have some awesome prizes on offer as part of the Chrisco service.

In 2020, you could win a dream holiday (valued at $15,000), a dream furniture package (valued at $3650), a Webber outdoor barbecue, one of five Lego Millennium Falcons, a Schweppes vintage bar fridge and a whole host of other great prizes. 

Home and living

Over recent years our home and living sections have quickly grown in popularity, with customers utilising Chrisco’s affordable and easy payment plans to fully kit out their home with all the necessary extras prior to Christmas.

From couches, seating and bedding, to electrical appliances and white goods, we’ve got you covered when it comes to décor, home and living items to make your Christmas truly special.

About Chrisco

You can see our all new catalogue here or browse our extensive range of options by category, then either order online or call us directly on 1800 830 830 to order your hamper.


February 19, 2020 / Blog

May your days be merry and bright – managing Christmas stress

As all the Christmas classics frequently note, Christmas might indeed be “the most wonderful time of the year” and the “season to be jolly”, but a host of recent studies also indicate the festive season comes with its own unique stress.

From managing the finances to mediating family, a season that is “merry and bright” can quickly turn to “manic and busy”.

So, with ten months until the big day, here’s a quick guide to managing Christmas stress.

Some findings

Relationships Australia notes Christmas is considered one of the six most stressful life events, with “financial and time pressure from the costs of buying gifts, entertaining and holidays, and managing competing work-family tensions” all playing a role in elevating the anxiety of the festive season.

Meanwhile, Harvard Medical School explains the season to be jolly can feel more stressful: “because the holiday season often requires us to keep track of and pay attention to a greater number of responsibilities than usual” and  “the brain’s prefrontal cortex goes into overdrive”.

That said, there are some simple strategies that everyone can employ to ensure the festive season runs smoothly.

Plan ahead

One of the major contributing elements to stress at Christmas is the feeling of overwhelm, with many people noting between gift buying, entertaining and attending Christmas social events, there’s too much to do in too little time.

This is where planning ahead works wonders, by eliminating the tasks that can be done early before the whirlwind of festivities floods the social calendar.

Even months before December 25, tasks can be ticked off the to-do list, such as gift-buying, food ordering, and budgeting.

Budget in advance

On the subject of budget, research indicates the cost of Christmas can place significant financial strain on a household, with each adult averaging $573 in Christmas spending in 2017.

That makes now the time to consider the Christmas finances, using available tools like Chrisco to pre-purchase the gifts and Christmas items that you can.

Share the load

If your Christmas is an extended family affair or a major festivity involving friends, share the load by working out early who will be responsible for bringing what items to social events.

Although it’s tempting to want to personally cater to everyone’s tastes, there’s a real joy in sharing the effort involved in Christmas celebrations.

Set realistic expectations

There’s an excitement in the lead up to Christmas that can sometimes result in expectations that every moment will be perfect, and every interaction like a festive family movie.

Harvard Medical School advises: “people who feel stressed during the holidays should evaluate how they spend their time, decide what they want the holidays to mean to them, and keep their expectations for the season realistic”.

How Chrisco can help

Each year we help Australians affordably manage the Christmas of their dreams. At Chrisco we offer the opportunity to select gift and food items in advance, and pay them off in manageable installments prior to season of giving.

What’s more, our Christmas hampers are delivered or ready for pick-up between mid-November to mid-December, allowing you to avoid the Christmas crowds and giving you plenty of time for wrapping.

Our catalogues feature a huge range of products like toys, gifts, household goods and food, including all your festive favourites, along with a host of bonus extras, like competitions and prizes.

You can start the journey to a stress-free Christmas by viewing our catalogues here, or call us directly on 1800 830 830 to order your hamper.


January 31, 2020 / Blog

The Top five Australian Christmas Traditions

We might owe much of our Christmas heritage to Europe, but over the past 230 years Australia has certainly put its own unique and warm-weathered stamp on the traditions of the festive season.

From backyard cricket, to beachside celebrations and outdoor feasts, here are the top five Australian Christmas traditions…

The chilled lunch

If Australians have learnt one thing it the past two centuries, it’s that the height of summer can prove an impractical time to cook up a three-course hot lunch.

While no two households are the same, many opt for a distinctly Aussie take on the Christmas feast, with cold meats a feature, prawns a must-have and salads offering a preferred option to warmed veg.

The outdoors await

Those in the Northern Hemisphere might have all the delicate beauty of freshly fallen snow, but in Australia, we embrace the outdoor experience of Christmas in a much more active way.

The warm weather of summer’s peak sees the family swimming pool a welcome Christmas Day reprieve, an impromptu game of backyard cricket almost obligatory and outdoor dining on the agenda throughout the festive season.

The beach beckons

In Australia, we too dream of a white Christmas, but one where the rolling blue of the ocean laps the crisp white of hot summer’s sand.

The beach is a true Christmas drawcard as either the place to enjoy Christmas Day celebrations or the ultimate destination for a family summer getaway.

Community gatherings

It may not feature roving carollers or be set to the soundtrack of reindeer bells, but Christmas in Australia is no less community-minded than the events that our Northern cousins enjoy.

From beachside community carols, to festive season street parties and Christmas light competitions, Christmas in Australia is all about celebrating with family and friends.

A Boxing Day sporting bonanza

As a nation recovers from the celebrations of Christmas, Boxing Day in Australia has its own unique traditions. For sporting fans it’s a bonanza spent glued to the radio and TV.

Whether it’s the Boxing Day cricket test, or the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, this relaxed post-Christmas event is the opportunity to continue the social occasion amidst the company of family and friends.

How Chrisco can help

Each year we help Australians affordably manage the Christmas of their dreams. At Chrisco we offer the opportunity to select gift and food items in advance, and pay them off in manageable installments prior to season of giving.

What’s more, our Christmas hampers are delivered or ready for pick-up between mid-November to mid-December, allowing you to avoid the Christmas crowds and giving you plenty of time for wrapping.

Our catalogues feature a vast selection of products including toys, gifts, household goods and food, including all your festive favourites, along with a host of bonus extras.

You can start the journey to a stress-free Christmas by viewing our catalogues here, or call us directly on 1800 830 830 to order your hamper.


January 6, 2020 / Blog

The Cost of Christmas

Each year Australians shell out billions of dollars in the lead up to Christmas with many leaving the search for the perfect gift until the very last minute.

What’s more, less than half the population celebrates the season of giving with a clear budget in mind, meaning the joy of Christmas quickly turns sour come the credit card statement of New Year.

Here’s an insight into the cost of Christmas and how you can plan ahead to eliminate stress…

Christmas cost

In 2018, CommBank found Australians collectively planned to spend $10.7 billion on Christmas gifts alone, with each adult averaging $573 and some sectors of the population going above and beyond.

They noted NSW and ACT residents were likely to fork out the most, with a Christmas gift list averaging $637. Meanwhile millennials were by far the most generous generation with 85 per cent planning to spend up to $1000 and 15 per cent expecting to exceed that figure.

A last-minute affair

While the season of giving was likely to set tills ringing for retailers, for the consumers seeking out the ideal gift, it was set to be a last-minute dash.

CommBank noted most people finished their shopping just the week prior to Christmas, with 2 million Australians leaving their shopping until Christmas Eve.

No budget in mind

Christmas might be a permanent fixture on the annual calendar, but the CommBank research also found less than half the population (46 per cent) had a budget in mind, and only one in three kept track of their Christmas spending.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent of all Australians start saving for Christmas just two to three months prior in a bid to have cash on hand.  

But wait, there’s more

CommBank’s annual survey only accounts for the purchase of gifts, with other Christmas research indicating Australia’s complete expenditure including food is almost five times as much.

In December last year both Roy Morgan research and the Australian Retailers Association tipped the nation would fork out $51.5 billion during the six-week Christmas trading period, with almost half that spent on food.

Roy Morgan noted:

  • $21 billion would be spent on food
  • $8.9 billion would be spent on household goods
  • $4 billion would be spent on apparel, footwear, clothing and accessors
  • $7.3 billion would be spent on dining out
Planning for the festive season

With Christmas set to hit the hip pocket, planning and budgeting in advance is key. By understanding the costs involved and accounting for them over the year, Christmas does not have to be a stressful season of giving accompanied by a mad retail rush.

How Chrisco can help

Each year we help Australians affordably manage the Christmas of their dreams. At Chrisco we offer the opportunity to select gift and food items in advance, and pay them off in manageable installments prior to season of giving.

What’s more, our Christmas hampers are delivered directly to your door, allowing you to avoid the Christmas chaos of shopping.

Our catalogues feature a vast selection of products including toys, gifts, household goods and food, including all your festive favourites, along with a host of bonus extras.

You can start the journey to a stress-free Christmas by viewing our catalogues here, or call us directly on 1800 830 830 to order your hamper.


December 3, 2019 / Blog

How does Chrisco work?

For over 40 years Chrisco has been delivering families the Christmas of their dreams by offering an affordable, convenient and manageable way of shopping for the festive season in advance.

Over the years we’ve become a household name, yet as more and more people embrace our services  one of the most common questions people have is how does Chrisco work?

So, let’s step back a little in time and walk through what we do, what we offer and how we can help make Christmas a stress-free affair.

Who we are

Chrisco is a family-owned business which was initially founded in the UK over 40 years ago with the aim of making Christmas simple and affordable.

We understood the strain the festive season placed on the family budget and the pressure involved in buying gifts at one of the busiest retail times of the year. Our aim was to alleviate this burden by offering a vast array of products which could be ordered up to 12 months in advance, using a catalogue in the comfort of your home.

After expanding to New Zealand in 1980, the concept arrived in Australia in 1997, before Canada also joined the ranks in 2003.   

We currently employ 160 full time staff across NZ, Australia and Canada and up to 300 temporary staff over the busy Christmas period.

Orders are dispatched prior to Christmas from warehouses in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Tauranga and Toronto to customers as far away as the Northern Territories, Chatham Islands and the Yukon. 

What we do

Each year we compile catalogues of the most popular foods, best gifts, and the most highly sought-after items that families consistently delight in over the Christmas period.

We then offer customers the opportunity to order those items and start paying for them in advance of the festive season.

Our catalogues are carefully curated, featuring thousands of quality, trusted brands and over 100 different Christmas Hamper options. These can be ordered online or via phone through our customer services centre.

Payment instalments are designed to be affordable and easily managed, allowing families to budget and plan for Christmas effectively, without incurring debt.

The Chrisco advantage

Over our lengthy history, the advantages of the Chrisco concept have been embraced by families both in Australia and internationally.

Benefits include:

  • A huge variety of products available at consistently competitive prices
  • A one-stop shop for all your Christmas needs including gifts, toys, household goods and food
  • Affordable up-front payment plans that allow you to pay in manageable instalments on a regular basis throughout the year. (No lay-by, no credit cards, and no debt after the festive season)
  • Your hamper is conveniently boxed, then delivered to your door or nearest depot prior to Christmas, allowing you to avoid the last-minute, often expensive rush of the festive season.

You can start the journey to a stress-free Christmas by viewing our catalogues here, or call us directly on 1800 830 830 to order your hamper.