Voice of Real Australia: Time to show the true meaning of Christmas

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This Christmas shopping locally, supporting small businesses and considering the broader community are all on trend.

This Christmas shopping locally, supporting small businesses and considering the broader community are all on trend.

IT'S been a long, tough year but now is the time to show some true Christmas spirit.

It could be as simple as paying it forward - you never know who you might help and what they have been going through this year.

Shopping locally, supporting small businesses and considering the broader community are all on trend.

In Warrnambool, in south west Victoria, a local employment agency has decided to forego its annual Christmas party and instead donate the money that would be spent on it to Foodshare.

The food sharing co-op will make up hampers for families in need this Christmas, with staff from Westvic Staffing Solutions donating $3000 to the charity.

Chief executive officer Dean Luciani said they had long admired the work that Foodshare did and they recognised it had been a long and difficult year for many.

Another simple gesture of kindness also showed how easy it is to make someone's day.

Over in Victoria's Central Highlands and Ballarat's Pete Baguley was shopping at his local supermarket this week and when he went to pay, the worker at the check-out said he only owed 50c for his groceries as the woman in the previous aisle had paid for him.

"I just thought what a lovely gesture, how beautiful is that? You hear of a lot of bad things in the world, but there's a lot of good out there as well. It shows that we are still a community and there are people who look out for others."

If you subscribe to The Courier, you can read Pete's story here.

If you're looking for unique and beautiful presents, why not check out Buy from the Bush?

The online platform showcases rural and regional businesses and there's thousands of nifty gift ideas.

As it says on the website - when you #buyfromthebush, you help keep the bills paid, the lights on, water in the tank, food on the table and you change lives.

Can't get much better than that.

If you enjoy a tipple at Christmas time, why not consider purchasing a few bottles from a local winemaker in your region.

Aussie winemakers are expecting to lose billions after China slapped heavy tariffs on imports.

The Chinese government imposed temporary tariffs of between 107 and 212 per cent on Australian wine last week, claiming it had evidence product dumping was damaging the local market.

It follows a series of tariffs and bans on Australian exports to China, such as barley and lobster.

Bendigo's Water Wheel Vineyards owner Peter Cumming said it would be hard for him and other regional wine exporters.

Mr Cumming has two containers of wine - worth more than $100,000 - languishing in the dock in China, while he waits for the situation to resolve.

And finally - if you are lucky enough to have a few spare extra dollars this Christmas, why not pop a present under the Kmart Giving Tree?

Give joy to a child on Christmas. Isn't that what it's all about?

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