Vanessa Smedes and Karen Noble draw out four lucky winners for the Letters to Santa competition.
Vanessa Smedes and Karen Noble draw out four lucky winners for the Letters to Santa competition. Elaelah Harley

Shop owner's slow Christmas after year of community hardship

MEMBERS of the South Burnett community are feeling financial pressure this Christmas season.

According to Karen Noble from Kingaroy Toy World, people haven't rushed in to buy gifts this year.

"It's been very quiet this year. I don't know whether it's just going to be a very last-minute thing with the next few days being very busy, or not at all,” she said.

"We're the only toy shop in town, so you would think that would help, but I think a lot of people are really struggling at the moment.”

Ms Noble believes this struggle is the impact of severe weather conditions over the past year.

"The problem with a small country town is that farmers struggle and there's been some really terrible storms, so the whole town struggles. The weather factors are a big contributor,” she said.

However, Kingaroy families aren't the only ones struggling.

According to a survey by finder.com.au, nearly one in three Aussies are doing side jobs to help cover costs this Christmas.

"We all want to pay for presents and parties but don't want to end up with empty pockets or mammoth bills come January,” a finder.com.au spokesperson said.

"Some want to make Christmas extra special this year, but others just want to make ends meet.”