Christmas with The Bachelorette’s Richie Strahan

The Bachelorette’s Richie Strahan talks about the best and worst Christmas gifts he has ever received … and there’s not a red rose in sight. 

Despite being a favourite for the final spot, Richie Strahan came third on the Channel Ten reality show The Bachelorette. The Perth-based rope technician, who has one sister, is already being talked about as the next Bachelor. Despite the fame, he remains single.

“I love my family to bits so Christmas was always pretty special. We’ve got a tight-knit family, and while I don’t really talk to my dad that much these days, my mum, sister and I always try to spend as much time together at Christmas as possible.

We weren’t the wealthiest family growing up so Christmas Day has never been a huge production. We would go out with our family dogs for a run at the beach, then back to one of our houses to do a nice lunch and get involved in the kitchen. I’m a secret MasterChef — I love doing a great breakfast but then I just help out with the lunches by watching!

For the past couple of years, I lived with my sister around Christmas time. And because I work offshore, I haven’t been in Perth on Christmas Day. Last year, we had a pretend Christmas two weeks before the actual day, before I flew up north for work. We set a day, put up the tree and my sister woke me up and said, ‘It’s Christmas! Come on, get into it.’ I ended up waiting for everyone to come down to open the presents!

One year Mum really wanted mulch for Christmas. I said, ‘I can’t get you mulch for Christmas.’ She said, ‘I really want it, you get it for me.’ So on Christmas Day, I had a tip truck dump five cubic metres of mulch on her driveway!

richie strahan

Bought his mum mulch. Maybe an insight into why he's still single...

One of the best Christmases ever was the year Mum took us to Bali. I was 15 and we’d never been overseas before. A lot of friends and family came — Mum’s got 11 brothers and sisters so it’s hard getting everyone in the same place — but they flew over and we all stayed in the same hotel for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. That sticks out in my mind as one of my favourites because of the memories we created there.

Our family is the kind that really finds out what each other wants and gets it — there’s no point getting someone a T-shirt they’re never going to wear. I can’t believe I did this, but one year Mum really wanted mulch for Christmas. I said, ‘I can’t get you mulch for Christmas.’ She said, ‘I really want it, you get it for me.’ So on Christmas Day, I had a tip truck dump five cubic metres of mulch on her driveway!

It sounds ridiculous but she loved it. She’s got a big garden and my sister and I helped her cover her garden with it. That sums up my family. Mum doesn’t wear jewellery so there was no point getting her a bracelet or something like that. In fact, those things are the most unthoughtful gifts I could have got. But mulch, on the other hand, is the best thing in the world!

When I was younger, Grandma used to send me 10 dollars. The only thing was, it was in New Zealand currency, so I was a five-year-old getting the equivalent of about $8.40 in Australian dollars. I don’t know where a five-year-old would even change that. She used to send us nice cards, which was always beautiful, but I never knew what to do with the 10 dollars!

As for material presents, the worst was when my mate re-gifted me a pizza oven I gave him as an engagement present! I was like, ‘Are you serious?’

When I was really young, I really wanted a Tonka truck and my dad got me one. He wrapped it and put it under the tree, but every morning I’d get up and tear a tiny bit of the wrapping off. By the time Christmas came, it was practically unwrapped so I just got handed a Tonka truck with tattered wrapping paper hanging off it!”

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