Giving Christmas gifts can mean many different things. 


It might mean searching for a park at the shopping mall on the 24th of December and racing around buying something for the sake of it.

It might mean a thoughtful list kept on your phone, adding to it throughout the year as gift ideas for your loved ones come to mind.

It might mean an opportunity to express your creativity and share your interests with those close to you. 

Whatever it means to you, it is a given that the sun will rise, and that you will be giving gifts again this year, and the year after too. Usually to the same people. I actually have a friend who does her Xmas shopping in June. 

Whatever the case, if it’s done well, it's much more rewarding than receiving gifts. 

I was on the plane yesterday and thought I'd scribble down some ideas for gifts this Xmas that would be fun, simple, satisfying and won't break the bank.

1. A DIY art kit - a blank canvas, some cool coloured paints and a few brushes in a nice box. You could even find some inspiring photos and print them out.

2. Scrapbook - print out your favourite photos of your mates from your phone and Instagram. Nothing quite like having these printed in your hand. Buy a beautiful Moleskine notebook and glue them in. 



3. Get some cool mugs, enamel or ceramic, and have something personal printed on them for your mates or family - a little sketch, some words. Everyone has a favourite mug. We got ours here.



4. Design a cool logo for someone. My girlfriend had a logo designed for her Dad for Father's Day and got some t-shirts printed with his favourite beach on them. The logo was designed by our friends at Sunday Best.



5. Make some sauce - chimichurri, hot sauce or plum sauce and put it in some cool glass bottles from Arthur Holmes. Click out some labels with a DYMO Embosser. 

6. Handmade Xmas decorations would be cool - even if you don't have many tools, drill holes in little bits of driftwood and paint parts of them. Get some beautiful linen and the sewing machine out and make some cool shapes and stuff them. The best Xmas decorations are the ones not from stores.

7. Chopping boards are great and can be made very easily in bulk. Use some nice wood, sand it up, oil it with olive oil/cooking oil and it will be good to go.

8. A thoughtful first aid kit - get a beautiful metal box and head to the pharmacy and deck it out with all the essentials. Great for someone's car, home or bach. 


9. A couple of years ago I got my girlfriend a nice red toolbox and filled it with some basic tools - a hammer, screwdrivers, measuring tape, level and a few essentials. She uses it all the time and loves it.

10. If you are into records you can now get a record subscription from our good friends at Holiday Records. They send a record to the receiver once every couple of months. Check it out here.

 11. A love/hate gift would be a ticket to a half marathon or something similar - it would involve training and completing an event. You might not be thanked immediately but after the run/event was finished they would be stoked.

12. Last year my family commissioned Helen from Books Bestowed to write a children's style book about my Grandma Rosalie's life. This was the most moving present I have ever gifted. Please email me if you would like me to send you a copy. Highly recommend this for something particularly meaningful! Illustrations by Sam Baker from Vacation Studio.

If you would like a PDF of the book please send me an email and I will send it through to you to show you how brilliant it really is.

13. Get something cast in bronze at your local foundry. It could be your dogs favourite bone, your Grandfathers lucky fishing lure. A small trophy for the boxing day backyard cricket tournament. Its simple to have small things cast in bronze or other metals. It will be fun and shows how much effort you have put in.

14. If you love beautiful photos and analog processes, a film camera is a great gift. We love using film. For the look and the process. Grab a vintage one of trademe or ebay. We use Canon Ae1 Programs which are super user-friendly.


Whatever you do just make sure you write a nice card. 


William McCallum