Ten-month-old Raffa Salisbury is over the moon about celebrating his first Christmas, dad Andy reckons.
After emigrating 20 years ago, the Liverpool native now lives in the Wellington suburb of Melrose with wife Jo and says his little Liverpudlian Kiwi rates his first festivities highly.
"He's on a bloody cloud nine at the moment - it's like he's just had a bottle of tomato sauce," Mr Salisbury said.
The family were part of a stream of tardy Christmas shoppers rushing for presents yesterday at Lyall Bay's Warehouse.
Mr Salisbury blamed his last-minute shopping on the demands of work and lifestyle. "It's been a madhouse day today," he said.
Another late shopper who said she was usually organised and would have had her Christmas tree stocked by now was Bridget White of Miramar. The snag she hit this year was shopping solo in an effort to protect the yuletide faith of her young children.
Both youngsters were "very excited", although Molly, 7, seemed to be getting cynical in her old age.
"She's a bit more switched on. She says she believes in Santa because she knows she'll get stuff. She's just playing along."
Mrs White's son Henry, 5, is keeping the faith, both in Father Christmas as well as fellow figment the Tooth Fairy.
Retail spending in the capital has been merrier than last Christmas, with Wellingtonians spending $10.5 million more this December, especially on bubbly and new carpets.
Total retail spending in the capital rose from $320.8m last year to $331.3m in the three weeks ending December 20, according to the latest figures from electronic transactions processor Paymark.
Paymark, which processes more than three-quarters of electronic transactions in retail, said last week that national spending through its network from November 30 to December 20 totalled just over $3.2 billion - $148.7m, or almost 5 per cent, more than the same period last year.
Nationwide, people spent less on books, electronics and sporting gear, but more on clothing, eating out and whiteware.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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