I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Published November 28th 2011
If you, like Santa, are currently in the throes of "making a list and checking it twice" you're probably stuck without any inspiration for a few of the people on that list. Funny isn't it, how the perfect present isn't a problem for some people? You have a flash of inspiration and you know it's just the right thing. But everyone has an Aunty Alice or Cousin George or Mr Isbister - the relative, neighbour or boss who you don't know really well or who appears to have everything. And sometimes even that special person in your life can present a challenge.
No longer do you need to trawl through retail shops, shoulder-to-shoulder with huge Christmas-shopping throngs and battling for scarce parking spaces. Embrace the brave new world of internet shopping and get your presents sorted.
Craft or Home Maintenance: Cousin George can finally release his inner creativity with knitting classes or your wife may wish to learn the dark arts of tiling or sanding.Spotlight stores run creative craft classes at their many stores around Australia. You can choose from crafts such as beading, knitting, sewing, collage or jewellery-making. Bunnings DIY Workshops cover areas such as sanding, barbeque maintenance, furniture rejuvenation and more, and best of all they're free. Whoever heard of a no-cost Christmas present?
Subscriptions: Does Aunty Alice's decor still look like something from a Henry James' novel? Hiding behind the wheel of his Morris Minor is Cousin George a closet speed demon? They might find all the inspiration they need in the pages of a magazine like Real Living or Top Gear. At Magshop you can organise subscriptions for a huge array of magazines in categories such as home and lifestyle, food and travel, gaming and technology, or music and entertainment.
Charitable: If Mr Isbister really does have everything why not buy him a gift that will help people in poverty, as well as make him feel good? Through Oxfam Unwrapped you can purchase blankets, cattle manure, goats and chickens, literacy classes or a water quality testing kit. Okay, you're not actually buying a piglet and mailing it to Laos, but your purchase will contribute to the agriculture or educational projects delivered by Oxfam. Similar gift programs are offered by TEAR Australia and Caritas Australia.
Don't buy another pointless popcorn-maker this Christmas. Give something different, enjoyable and useful to those people in your life who are difficult to buy for. Aunty Alice will thank you for it.