From over-spenders to pickle searching – how our team spends Christmas

Seafood, the beach or pool, family and friends, noise and tradition – Christmas means different things to different people. We have a look at how the Strictlymarketing team plans to spend this Christmas, their gift buying habits and what they think Boxing Day will look like for them.

Managing Director, Bev Strickland, admits she is typically an over-spender on Christmas gifts but has made a conscious decision this year to spend less, while focusing on time with her loved ones, “the true meaning of Christmas” and simply relaxing.

“This Christmas will be spent like most years but with less spending on presents and more attention on being present,” Bev said.

“My husband David, son Yanni and I will attend a morning Christmas service, come home and prepare a feast and then spend the afternoon and night indulging in wonderful food at a beautifully decorated table and enjoying each other’s company and the Christmas lights.”

Lunch is made up of ham, pork, seafood and lashings of Christmas pudding, cream and brandy butter with David doing much of the cooking and Bev following behind to clean up. Boxing Day is about enjoying leftovers, the company of friends, or even heading out on the boat.

Portfolio Marketing Manager, Kristin Huddlestone, embraces the Christmas break as a chance to break out of normal school and work routines while enjoying fun days out and chill days at home with her family.

A super organised person, Kristin had 90% of her Christmas gift shopping wrapped up before, or as a result of, Black Friday sales as she prepares herself for a “proper Aussie beach Christmas” this year.

Hosted by her sister on the Gold Coast, Kristin and her family will attend a Christmas Eve church service before starting Christmas Day with hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree – an old German tradition introduced by her Oma (grandmother); the first child to spot the pickle gets an extra present.

After gift giving, the family enjoys lunch, prepared by Kristin, her mum and sister, before an afternoon at the beach and a very chilled Christmas night.

Laura Perkins, Portfolio Marketing Manager, will spend Christmas Day enjoying lunch with immediate family where everyone brings their favourite dish to share as part of their annual celebration.

Laura, who is great at sticking to a budget when it comes to Christmas gift shopping – thanks in part to the family’s Secret Santa tradition – says her favourite memory of Christmas is making strawberry daiquiris with her sisters and she prefers to play Boxing Day by ear with no set plans each year.



Strictlymarketing’s Head of Design, Ryan Hayes, who says leaving his Christmas shopping until the last week makes the process “more exciting”, will be spending much of Christmas Day in his car as he and his partner split their time between their families.

The highlights of his day will be eating his mum’s potato bake, spoiling his niece and nephew and watching one of the family dress up as Santa for the young kids – a tradition Ryan has enjoyed since he was a child.

Ryan’s Boxing Day is possibly going to spent in a dark room as he nurses a hangover.

While our Digital Marketer/Content Creator Alex McGuckin, is a serial over-spender on Christmas gifts, she is saved from financial ruin each year through the practice of buying all her presents at the Black Friday sales!

Alex will spend Christmas Day with her partner up the Coast, joined by family flying over from Western Australia, drinking cocktails by the pool and feasting on a lunch which inevitably becomes dinner and includes her favourite meal – dad’s giant baked ham

For our Marketing Manager Edwina Cornish, a mum of three boys, Christmas will be noisy and joyful as they join extended family to share a beach holiday on the NSW Coast.

The Christmas celebrations for Edwina and her family are definitely not limited to one day with traditions including viewing Brisbane’s Christmas light displays with the kids in the lead up to the big day, and lots of catching up with friends and family during the holidays.

Edwina and her family will be seeking out open spaces for her kids and their cousins to go wild, enjoy the natural beauty of our beaches and burn off the Christmas lunch feast of “all the usual suspects” with prawns and plum pudding her personal favourites. And on Boxing Day they back up and do it all again!

When it comes to Christmas shopping, our Marketing Assistant Jorja Griff takes it to the next level complete with “lists and full-on mood boards for everyone’s gifts” with shopping well and truly completed before Christmas.

Christmas Day itself will see the family gather together in Adelaide to remember those who are not there to share the day, and celebrate the time spent with those who are, over a seafood lunch, before backing up with time at the beach on Boxing Day.

Having moved to Brisbane from Singapore last year, this will be the first Christmas in Australia for our new Marketing Intern Sarah Gares, who is looking forward to spending the break with her sister, her partner and their dog.

It is in stark contrast to Sarah’s last Christmas when she was working in a coffee shop.

Not having any Christmas traditions, Sarah is planning on a quiet dinner on Christmas Day, hopefully including her favourite meal of green bean casserole and enjoying opening gifts, while Boxing Day is likely to be spent in front of Netflix with her partner and dog.

One of two latest additions to the team, Digital Intern Lacey Hall, finished her Christmas shopping weeks ago and is looking forward to just spending time with her partner, friends and family over the break.

Christmas Day will be celebrated with a full brunch – possibly lunch depending on the energy levels! – including bacon, eggs, ham, fruit and some seafood followed by enjoying each other’s company and air conditioning.

As we take a well-earned break over the holidays – closing between December 23 and January 7 – we wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and look forward to working with you in 2024.