Welcome to The Spirit of Christmas

In 2008 Dennis Stevenson opened his leased Brisbane home and gave everything away. You may have seen it on TV 9's Today show with Karl and Lisa. 

In 2009 for Christmas, Dennis borrowed an empty Gold Coast shop for a week, called it 'Spirit of Christmas' and with community involvement and no cost, gave away thousands of presents to help see no one went without. In 2012, his fourth year, he gave away over 11,000 presents. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 others opened shops in Victoria and Queensland.

Madonna King on ABC radio at the 2011 Happiness Conference panel asked Dennis if he was still rich (see 'In the Media' interview). He said, “I have wealth beyond belief… but if you're talking about money, that's another matter.” That raised some chuckles.

Dennis is a business and marketing consultant, motivational speaker, community trainer and life coach. Though he has no income, assets or savings, to live his belief, Dennis doesn’t charge anyone – for anything. This includes his talks, workshops and professional consultations. He enjoys the idea of helping create communities with a gift economy, freely helping & sharing with each other without ever creating an obligation for anyone to give back.

In discussing how the shops are possible, Dennis thanked the wonderful people who loaned shops, gave free insurance, supplied juice for helpers, made superb signs, mowed lawns and took great photographs. He said the shop volunteers, people who brought in thousands of presents, the lovely folk who create and host this free website and the very generous media people are all superb examples of love in action. He says, "I wish everyone could see the joy of people who take their gifts."

Let's keep the spirit of Christmas alive throughout this year of 2016.

 

Christmas shops since 2009:

 2009 Burleigh Gold Coast, Queensland
 2010 Nundah, Brisbane, Qld Australia
 2011 Clayfield, Brisbane
 2012 Norman Park, Brisbane
 

 2013 Wangaratta, Nth Victoria
 spiritofchristmaswangaratta.wordpress.com
 

     

 2014 Coolum, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

 and again in Wangaratta, Victoria. 

                      2015 Shops are again in Coolum, Sunshine

                      Coast, Qld and Wangaratta in Victoria. 

Live Brisbane Broadcast 96.5 FM

96.5 FM did a direct broadcast from the Spirit of Christmas shop from 3pm to 6pm. What a wonderful team! Many people who visited our shop say they heard about it on 96.5 FM.

This is how Dennis does it. So can you for Christmas 2016.

  • Gather some friends and enjoy the time of your lives. Perhaps three to six generous, reliable people. Read the ideas and view this site. Meet up and each choose a task you enjoy. Write out some simple steps.
  • Find and borrow an empty shop with parking. Call it "Spirit of Christmas (your city)". Open for a week or so before Christmas. Include Christmas Eve if you can.
  • People are very helpful. Borrow tables, covers, stands, mirror etc.
  • Get free Public Liability insurance, if required.
  • Ask local businesses to donate cleaning for windows and floors, and shop signs.
  • Collect new gifts (or anything that looks absolutely brand new). Please ask families – not companies. The shops are a community activity and businesses do more than enough already. Please, nothing 'second hand'. It's a gift shop, not an Op Shop. People need to be able to wrap their presents as new Christmas presents. Fill the shop ready for your grand opening.
  • Tell everyone. Write a News Release. When the lovely folk on TV, radio, papers, groups and clubs hear of your shop, they'll tell everyone and do what they can to help. People will bring in loads of new gifts, and together, we'll bring the true Spirit of Christmas alive.

Like to open a Spirit of Christmas Shop this Christmas?  Click here for detailed information.