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Celebrity News

What brings Amanda Billing joy at Christmas

I love giving people presents

By Fleur Guthrie
Actress, artist and photographer Amanda Billing finds great joy at Christmas in choosing gifts for loved ones.
"I love giving people Christmas presents," she says. "I love choosing just the right thing. I don't like to give vouchers and even if they tell me what they want, I think, 'No, I'd rather find you something.'"
All her life, she has spent Christmas with her parents Dennis and Lynne, and this year will be no different.
"I'll be in Taupō," she tells. "It's always super-chill. We have Champagne before eight in the morning and eat panettone."
Two-year-old Amanda has her hands full.
Although Amanda is 47 and the youngest of three siblings, she still receives a stocking each year.
"We always had presents under the tree from Father Christmas, but now they're from each other and my mother does the stockings. It's very sweet."
Looking back, it was a truly special gift from her nana that is her fondest Christmas memory.
"She gave me a couple of Sindy dolls – she was better than Barbie," laughs Amanda, who grew up in Masterton. "I got Jazzergetics Sindy and Ballet Sindy… Ballet Sindy was a brunette, so I related to her a bit more. I thought Barbie was a bit trashy, so I was a total doll snob. My nana spoiled me."
Reflecting on 2023, Amanda, who starred as Dr Sarah Potts on Shortland Street for a decade, is pleased she was able to get her teeth into two roles – Kid Sister season two and Under the Vines season three, both coming to TVNZ in 2024.
While she hopes to land more acting work next year, she's building her photography business and making paintings for online contemporary art gallery artfull.co.nz.
"I like working on fun, challenging projects with people I really enjoy," she enthuses. "I never know what's going to happen with acting, so I have other creative things that are 'jobs' but also projects for
me to work on."

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