Christmas and a New Year

Christmas will soon be upon us and I hope everyone is looking forward to a few days surrounded by family and friends and are taking some well earned rest from the frantic lead up to it. I certainly am and have all the Christmas presents sorted from my wins throughout the year as well as a good spate of them in the past week! As soon as Christmas celebrations are over suddenly it’s New Year’s Eve accompanied by spectacular light shows of fireworks and the popping of champagne corks heralding in 2015.

It is almost a year since I began this blog after I made a 2014 New Year’s Resolution to pursue comping seriously for the year, enter as many competitions as I could manage, write about the journey and see what I could learn from the experience. 2014 was a tough year in my personal life with an equal share of family tragedy, financial and health issues alongside many moment of joy: pretty much the stuff of life.

However, I kept to my resolution and kept comping. Over the nearly twelve months I have made some great friends, won heaps of prizes (both small and some reasonably substantial), and realised it’s pretty hard to win a car or overseas holiday. I have learned more about comping than I probably really need to know and have tried to pass on as many hints, tips and leads to anyone interested enough to listen or take heed of my hard-learned advice.

I was going to stop after the year but I have now decided to keep going (perhaps at a slower pace next year) because, apart from the fact that I think I have become rather addicted (see earlier blog – Prize Pigs and Competition Junkies), I still enjoy comping immensely. My heat beats a little faster every time I find a winning email in my inbox or hear my doorbell ring and see a courier standing there with a box in his hand or find a thick unexpected envelope in my mailbox. I also get quite a buzz when others I have got to know win and I find it irresistible hearing stories of their comping adventures. I’d love to put it all together in a book one day, if I ever get the time to work on it. I have started but for the moment I’m a little distracted by all the comping!

In 2015 I will be a little savvier with my comping and I am looking forward to hearing about more and more wins from my new-found friends. I am also going to be working on some spreadsheets with my dear hubbie to help track competitions and wins and perhaps develop them into a comprehensive CompTracker.

Early January may be a little quiet on the comping front with so many businesses shutting down for holidays but could be an ideal time for everyone to brush up on WOL skills. Test yourself by setting yourself some common questions like – ‘why do you want to win this prize…?’ Also it might be a good idea to find time in the holidays to take some great photos that can be used in future competitions. For example – familys having fun, lots of smiling children, quirky offbeat moments in the sun….you know the stuff. It might also pay to get ready for competitions that will start appearing everywhere in early or mid January with an Australia Day theme. It happens each year. One I have found already is at Australian Made Campaign (australianmade.com.au) for an Aussie Day Flag worth $150. I already have my entry in.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a joyful Christmas Day, safe and happy holidaying and New Year celebrations that don’t break the bank. And don’t forget to take a good rest, ready to take on heaps more competitions in 2015.

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at www.competitions.com.au.

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