I’ve been shopping at Market Square Shopping Centre for as long as I can remember. Even when I drove a manual 1970 Volkswagen Beetle with red P plates and was nervious about doing a hill-start on the ramp, I went there because the parking was cheap. It still is.
Now, it has some of the best specialty shops in Geelong that are perfect for special gifts for my nearest and dearest. Here are their dossiers:
Here’s how I got it done in two hours:
0.00: Park in the car park and head down the travelator. Take note of Boost Juice and think I should grab a cool and healthy juice on the way out.
0.05: Go straight for EB Games. Grateful that Will the Master Gamer isn’t with me, because once he’s in the vortex of EB Games I can never get him out. The staff there speak his language. He LOVES looking at all the games and obsesses over the rare novelties and video-game-themed toys. Buy him Mario Maker for the Wii U and some Minecraft toys.
0.20: Head across to Cotton On Kids. This is another vortex of sorts when I’m accompanied by my minors because they will not leave the in-store kids’ play area. Lexie the Diva has spent her five years on Earth becoming a fashionista with a penchant for shoes and a firm belief that there’s no such thing as too many accessories. Stock up on everything sparkly, frilly and fun and put it all in a charity bag for the Cotton On Foundation. Yay!
0.40: Hit Best and Less and grab all their cotton Bonds socks, jocks and PJs for Jarrod, who will wear the same sloppy-but-comfy stuff until they’ve disintegrated into an overstretched elastic waistband strung with confetti.
0.55: Go to JB Hifi and browse the techno gadgets looking for something that Dad would find clever and useful. Remember that he's tech-struggler and instead scour shelves of DVDs looking for obscure TV box sets that he’s loved in the past to surprise him with. Get something British that only ex-pats would understand.
1.10: Do a lap of Toyworld picking up Lego, Disney Princesses and Sylvanian Families to stuff the kids’ stockings.
1.25: Head up the escalators to a Geelong institution in Décor Plus. Gorgeous homewares and furnishings. Get a gorgeous frame for a picture of the grandkids for Judy. Notice some really uniquely Geelong gifts in there too and make a mental note to remember that next time we have visitors from overseas.
1.40: Each year we give Mum the greatest gift of all, a Geelong Football Club Membership! But, everyone should have a surprise to open on Christmas morning, so I pop out to Mimco on Malop Street and get a necklace she’ll love.
1.50: Presents purchased with ten minutes to spare. I reconsider my healthy Boost Juice and instead get a Wendy’s ice cream while walking to the car park. I pay my ONE DOLLAR to the friendly, still-human parking attendant and head home.
There it is – two hours, six people, presents sorted. And if anyone’s speaking to Jarrod between now and 25 December, could you *cough* remind him *cough* that there’s a Duffs Jewellers in Market Square and I wear white gold.