We asked 10 smart women how to make Christmas easier.


The Christmas holiday period is a busy one. So, we decided to bring you some of the best Christmas holiday hacks from some of our favourite Australian Women. Did someone say re-gifting?

Gretel Killeen

“I think it’s really important to re-gift; on moral, environmental, capitalist and practical grounds. Also, I don’t actually  need anything myself so it’s better to pass gifts on to others (as long as you don’t re-gift to the person who gave it to you in the first place.)”

Gretel Killeen is a journalist and author who’s is appearing in Smart Arsing at the Sydney Opera House on March 3 and 4.

Tanya Plibersek MP

“I make cheesy olive balls weeks ahead and freeze them.  Then 15 minutes in the oven.  Very quick nibbles.  Also, I always write a present list.  It makes shopping a lot easier.”

Tanya Plibersek is the Federal Member for the seat of Sydney and Deputy Leader Of The Opposition.

Janice Petersen

“Since the festive spirit seems to by pass a lot of motorists, I try to avoid getting in the car to do Christmas shopping. I don’t have a dog so online shopping is my best friend.”

Janice Peterson is the co-host of SBS World News.

Rebecca Sparrow


“My life is one giant hack.  I now order many of the dishes I’ll be serving up on Christmas day (think salads, stuffing, glazed whatever).  I’m also really loving this idea that  maybe the toys that appear in my kids’ Santa sacks don’t have to be wrapped!! I mean — HELLO?  Imagine opening up the bag and it’s just TOY CITY.  I’m loving that idea and also LESS PAPER TO PICK UP ON THE DAY!”


Rebecca Sparrow is a writer and the author of Ask Me Anything, a book where she answers the questions posed to her by hundreds of teenage girls.


Robin Bailey

“Share the load. About 12 months ago Masterchef Matt Preston gave me all of his cook books with post it notes of his favourite recipes to help teach my three boys how to cook. Every Sunday night we have a cooking night together where we take it in turns to pick a meal from the books and we then all cook , so for Xmas lunch each of us are picking a dish and we will make it together.”

Robin Bailey is a host on Robin, Terry and Bob Breakfast team on Brisbane’s 97.3 FM and weekends doing features on Channel 9.

Sophie Monk

“Re-gifting is always good. Also buying gifts on sale then taking off the sale price tag and keeping the original tag on so it looks like you spent more than you actually did…”

Sophie Monk is an Australian singer, model and actress. She’s co-hosting the Summer Fling on KISS FM in Sydney this summer. 


Nikki Gemmell


““I still call Australia Home” hampers you can order over the internet, full of supercool Aussie gifts and foods that you can send anywhere in Australia or the UK. They come in the most gorgeous, funky, handpainted gift boxes – I’m keeping mine forever. Also, gift magazine subscriptions, because the recipient gets a reminder of your generosity 52 or 12 times a year. The internet is my friend at Christmas time. Most of the kids’ gifts are ordered on it too. And the teenagers get gift cards from a shop they love because mum is way too embarrassing to know what they might like. Saying that, my middle son went on an online shop yesterday and put all his gifts he wanted in a basket, signed in, created a password, typed in our address, then handed his dad the computer and said “all it needs now is your credit card number.” We call this child “The Schemer.” But his scheme worked – his father thought it was a genius plan and not too expensive and happily typed in the final, crucial detail; relieved that he now had one child he could completely tick off on the Santa list.”


Nikki is an author and columnist for The Australian. Her latest novel is Coco Banjo and the Super Wow Surprise, a children’s book, out in January.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

“Go overseas! This year I’m taking my daughter to Vietnam for Christmas and we simply cannot wait to get there.”

Sarah Hanson-Young is an Australian Greens Senator from South Australia.

Mia Freedman

“Make a no-presents-for-adults rule. My family did that years ago and it’s life changing. Also, marry someone Jewish.”

Mia Freedman is the Founder and Content Director of the Mamamia Women’s Network.



Leigh Sales

“I’m an expert at sneaking out of parties early by claiming I’m just popping to the loo and then never returning.”

Leigh Sales is the host of 7.30 on ABC TV.

What is your best Christmas hack?