It’s that time of year when we’re once again faced with the challenge of buying our loved ones awesome, mind-blowing gifts to show them how much we care.
You may have broken your promise to embark on your Christmas shopping journey early for another year and the prospect of hitting the shops with the rest of the last-minute crowd may have you huddled, crying in a corner, but don’t fret – we’ve got you covered.
Here are our top 10 Christmas gift ideas for your nearest and dearest. We hope we’ve salvaged some of your sanity.[fold]
1. Lucas Grogan Plates
The clever folk at Douglas & Hope have transformed the work of artist Lucas Grogan into a set of melamine dinner plates, sure to make a punchy statement at the Christmas dinner table. Grogan is known for pushing limits with his daring art, making these cheeky plates perfect for someone with a good sense of humour and an appreciation of bold design. It’s art good enough to eat off.
$27.50 each. Available online from Ganim’s Store.
2. Eau de Cologne 1871, La Commune de Paris
Don’t waste your time with common aftershaves; Parisian cologne is the bet for the discerning men in your life. A unique and powdery fragrance, you’ll want to linger on this bergamot and rosemary scent, with hints of styrax resin, cedarwood and vetiver. The scent develops on the wearer’s skin, conjuring an image of the dapper Parisian gentlemen of yesteryear (even if he’s not).
$120 each. Available online from Épatant
3. Tokyobike Bike Saddle
There’s no better way to spruce up your loved-one’s treasured bicycle than with a new leather bike saddle from one of Sydney’s finest bike retailers, Tokyobike. These plush leather saddles, by US brand Selle Anatomica, move with your pelvis as you ride, making them one of the world’s most comfortable bike seats. Sleek and functional, they’re available in tan, black, white and golden. $190 each. Available at Tokyo Bike.
4. Chapter Music 20 Big Ones Compilation
Independent record label Chapter Music’s latest compilation, 20 Big Ones, is a veritable smorgasbord of local tunes – perfect for the music fan who’s constantly in search of new material. Including unheard tracks from Melbourne acts like Twerps, Fabulous Diamonds and Pikelet, the gorgeous double vinyl LP comes in lime green and hot pink vinyl, complete with detailed liner notes on these Aussie favourites.
$40 each. Available from Title, 501 Crown Street, Surry Hills, (02) 9698 8501
5. Jeff Wall Books
Taking some southern inspiration, The National Gallery of Victoria's current exhibition of influential contemporary photographer Jeff Wall means that their gift shop is stocked up with beautiful volumes of the artist’s greatest works. A guaranteed winner for shutterbugs, art fans or lovers of good publishing, Wall’s intricate portraits and tableaux provide engaging, thought-provoking material to take your time musing over. Our top pick is the retrospective by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which includes Wall’s photos in all their glossy glory and an interview with the intriguing artist. Of course you can get many of wall's book in Sydney too.
Selection of Jeff Wall books available at the MCA Store and online at NGV Australia store.
6. Beach Umbrella by Basil Bangs
An Australian Christmas essential, this deluxe beach umbrella is the perfect present solution for those who want to get some vitamin D over the holidays, sans sunburn. Made from thick, woven canvas, the 1.5 metre brightly striped canopy is +50UPF and has us thinking about lazing underneath, devouring a bowl of mangoes and cream, safe from the harsh summer sun.
$450 each. Available online at Basil Bangs
7. POMS Earrings
Try some jewellery with flair for that impossible-to-buy-for lady in your life. One part Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, one part Russian Snow Princess, these handcrafted pompom earrings are the unique answer for those that are not content with average. Made from brightly coloured cottons and silk, these babies come in a range of colours and cost a lot less than that gold bracelet.
$60 each. Available at pomspoms.com.au
8. Avocado Subscription
For the person who has everything? Avocados, of course. One of nature’s most versatile fruits is likely to please everyone from the home chef to those only comfortable at the sandwich level of food preparation. Subscribers receive batches of avocados (Hass, Reed, Bacon and Fuerte varieties, depending on the season) packed and delivered to their door within 24 hours, so their avos have only touched two sets of hands before they make there: the picker’s and the packer’s.
Prices start at $24.50 p/fortnight. Subscribe at barhamavocados.com.au
9. Block Lamp by Henry Pilcher
If you’re looking for something a little more high-end, some luxe lighting is the gift that keeps on giving. This block lamp is made from timber struts and aluminium plates, encasing an aluminium shade that can be angled in different directions. The sleek, ultramodern design would look at home in any epicurean’s living space. Available in red, blue, black and white.
$1210 each. Available from Anibou Sydney, 726 Bourke Street Redfern, (02) 9319 0655 anibou.com.au.
10. Tote Bag by Harvest Textiles
These bold handmade totes are just begging to be placed on the arm of the fashion fiend in your life. Made from hand-printed canvas and lined with hand-printed organic cotton, these limited edition bags are perfect for the beach or an overnight trip, or really just anywhere, and are large enough to carry everything you need and more. These eye-catching babies will brighten your friend’s Christmas day, and everyone else’s too.
$150 each. Available online at Harvest.