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Online Christmas Shopping Gift Ideas

Home > Sydney > Outdoor | Hobbies | Food and Wine | Family | Craft | Courses | Charity | Adventure | Shopping
by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
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.

Does Cousin George need to break out of his shell and get some thrills in his life? Red Balloon has a huge array of Christmas excitement just for him, or for the genuine thrill-seeker in your life. Choose from Flying Trapeze Experiences in Sydney, Byron Bay or the Sunshine Coast, or a High Ropes Obstacle Course at the Gold Coast Hinterland. How about a Tree Top Adventure in the Dandenong Ranges, or for something a little tamer try Tall Ship Sailing on Sydney Harbour or in Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay.

Image from Red Balloon website

Has Aunty Alice long harboured a desire to master the art of tango dancing or does your husband want to get in touch with his Masterchef side? Online you can find courses for everything.

Cooking: James St Cooking School in Brisbane offers hands-on or demonstration classes in a range of areas including French, Beer and BBQing, and Thai. In Sydney try Cooking For Blokes or The Sydney Coffee School for budding baristas. Perth's Urban Provider offers Cooking Passions classes and in Melbourne try Cooking The Italian Way for a taste of Italy.

Golf: Is Mr Isbister's swing not really cutting it? You can get golf lessons at golf courses all around the country. In Sydney try Warringah Golf Club. Adelaide Shores or Perth's The Golf Clinic are others to look out for.

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?

Dance: Adelaide's Salsa Connection will get Aunty Alice's hips swaying. In Melbourne Forever Dance offers vouchers for private or group lessons and in Brisbane treat your fiancee to bridal waltz lessons for your big day at Dancecorp Dance Studios .

Beer and Wine:
The Beer Diva holds beer appreciation evenings for women called Barley's Angels in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Organisations like The National Wine Centre of Australia in Adelaide, Mondo Organics in Brisbane or the Wine Industry Association of Western Australia in Perth all offer wine appreciation courses.

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.

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.
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Why? Because we all have an Aunty Alice or Cousin George.
When: until 25 December.
Cost: Varies widely
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