Erin Holland’s Christmas surprise for Mum

The model is supporting ‘Enrichmas’ this year, putting experiences over material gifts.

When you’re as busy as model-turned-TV presenter Erin Holland, you understand that Christmas is about creating lasting memories and shared experiences with the people you love. 

Which is why the former Miss World Australia is choosing to make this the season of Enrichmas. She’ll be ditching material gifts, and surprising her family with RedBalloon experiences instead.

“I won’t get to spend Christmas with my parents as I’m working,” says Erin. “They live in Cairns and I live in Sydney, so we don’t get to see each other a lot. Spending time together is more valuable than anything I might buy them, so this year I decided I wanted to treat my mum, and do something fun together beforehand.”

When Erin’s mum flew to Brisbane recently, Erin arrived to surprise her – with an early Christmas present. “The look on her face was priceless when she saw me,” she says. “Then I handed her a RedBalloon voucher. The first thing she said was ‘oh no, it’s not a hot air balloon, is it?’ She hates heights!”

Erin’s gift was actually a high tea for two at Brisbane’s beautiful Spicers Balfour hotel, where the pair spent a happy few hours chatting non-stop and sipping champagne. “We only see each other every few months so quality one-on-one time is the best gift I could give,” she says. “Mum was thrilled. We talk every day on the phone but nothing really beats sitting across a table from each other and having a proper catch-up.” 

The best thing about the experience is that it’s created a treasured memory for both of them. “It’s something we’ll always remember,” says Erin. “It’s lovely knowing we’ve had that time together doing something special.”

Erin won’t be at home over Christmas as she’s working as a presenter on the Big Bash League and Women’s Tri-Series. She’ll spend the festive period with her fiancé and T20 star Ben Cutting, who is based in Brisbane.

“We will have a very relaxed day with a seafood barbecue and some pool time,” she says. “It will be our first Christmas together as an engaged couple so we’re really excited. Previously Ben has had to leave the celebrations at midday to fly to Perth to play cricket on Boxing Day, so we’re pleased to be able to have the whole day together this year.”

The couple are busy planning their wedding, which will take place in 2020 – although Erin admits it’s been hard to make too many plans as they’re rarely in the same place at the same time. “When we started talking about setting a date, Ben had about two free weekends he could commit to,” she says. “I’m lucky to have a great wedding planner helping out. I’m feeling excited and we are planning the wedding around when the cricket will allow.” 

For now, Erin is enjoying the build-up to the festive season knowing she’s already made her mum’s Christmas. “When we told Dad about it, he was upset he wasn’t invited,” she laughs. “Now I’ve got to find an experience for him too so he doesn’t feel left out!”

For more information visit RedBalloon.