A Weekend Away
When it comes to giving an experience over a thing, travel takes the unforgettable cake — and it also happens to be a big gift idea that's taken on even bigger significance in the post-COVID world. It's likely been a moment since your loved one set foot outside their neighbourhood, so we're willing to guess that giving the opportunity to venture out will be an invaluable one this year. If you won't be travelling alongside your chosen giftee, you can still foot the bill for their stay away with a gift card to a booking website or ensure they’re well-equipped on the packing front with a brand-spanking-new weekender bag that boasts bestselling status.
A Piece Of Home
On the flip side, the person on your list might find themselves far from where they call home and yearning for a tangible reminder of their happy place. A custom map that details some meaningful coordinates — a childhood home, a significant meeting place, or a life-changing locale — makes for a personalised gift that’s literally out of the box.
A Kitchen Thing Worth Leaving Out
Is your giftee’s kitchen getting a little ... crammed? Whether they’re a gadget-happy home chef or they use their oven to store footwear, the person on your list might be short on storage space in an already-not-huge cooking zone. Lucky for them (and for you, gift-giver), food-prep essentials have never been more stylish. Whether it’s a dreamy pistachio-green coffee machine, the perfect crockpot, or a full 16-piece set of ruby red cookware, these are the pieces your loved one may not have the space for — and they’ll thank you for it.
A Better Bathroom Experience
As unglamorous as it might be, we all have to use the bathroom — and while we may not give a lot of thought to our business, the act of going doesn’t have to be a drab one. There’s nothing like heavenly hand soap and look-at-me towels to elevate and enliven a functional, no-frills room.
A Video Worth A Thousand Replays
Serious question: What the heck did we do before Cameo came along? Every gift seems totally ho-hum compared to the completely customizable and endlessly enjoyable potential of a selfie shout-out filmed by your favourite “celebrity” (if you consider a Real Housewife to warrant star status). If a cultish reality-TV personality or all-star athlete isn’t your loved one’s speed, there are other ways to give the gift of moving pictures, like a thought-provoking lecture from MasterClass or a subscription to a streaming service like Disney+.
If you know a green thumb who has lofty salad goals but lacks the necessary outdoor space to grow a vege garden, you can blow their mind with an indoor planter. Alternatively, you could send them a pack of indoor plants to brighten up their apartment with. Or, if your yard-starved recipient is yearning for an actual outdoor plot, you could gift them a native plant pack like this one from Plants in a Box.
A Reason To Cook More
If you’ve got a cuisine-curious friend on your list, you’re in luck — the internet is replete with delicious and conveniently packaged ingredients for those who like to cook (or just eat). For the environmentally-minded, there is Delish Deliveries, a direct-to-consumer supplier of delicious fruits and veg. Is your friend more of a grazer than a chef? Why not send them a delicious hamper full of cheeseboard-worthy goodies? Either way, your pal will be grateful that you served up some inspiration for their next meal.
A Spa Trip For The Very Lazy
Sure, a spa treatment is a rare indulgence — but what’s even more high-rolling is enjoying a self-care service from the comfort of your own home. Thanks to websites like Urban Company, you can book a massage therapist to deliver their care to your doorstep (and yes, intrepid shopper, they sell gift cards for easy wish fulfilment). If your recipient is more the DIY type, kit them out with one of OPI's manicure sets or a face-firming gua sha tool that comes with a Rose Quartz Facial Roller too.
A Deep Clean
We all devote more time than we’d like to household tasks, so why not infuse your loved one’s daily drudgery with a little luxury? They’d probably never treat themselves to upscale laundry detergent but, once they give Dirt a go, they’ll be glad that you decided to splurge. Or, try the gift of a sustainable under-sink with a design-forward, eco-friendly cleaning starter kit from Koh — it's a deep clean system that’s cuter, cut with fewer chemicals, and more sustainable than most.
A Birth Chart
There’s nothing like the gift of astrological insight to help your giftee harness their individual destiny. Show your person that you really get them with a gift that celebrates their birth sign.
A Painless 9 To 5
Give the gift of an executive-level home office with a suite of goods that will ensure an ergonomic workflow in even the most cramped work-from-home zones. A velvet-covered swivel chair will definitely turn heads (without causing any back injuries). From a productivity standpoint, the gift of a new planner can be a big one when it comes to optimizing their workflows.
A Museum Membership
If your recipient likes to be surrounded with beauty but can’t fit another gewgaw into their object-filled apartment, help transport them to a visual wonderland with a membership to a masterpiece-packed gallery in their local area.
A Starter Altar
“Shopping for spiritual people is all about intention and energy — you can’t overthink it,” advises writer Mercedes Viera in her recently published guide to spiritual gifting. We followed our shopping instincts and uncovered a best-selling tarot deck, a “guide to lunar living”, and an online course on how to use crystals — all presents that will satisfy the aspiring witch in your life.
A Commissioned Portrait — For A Pet
The giftee in question might be number one on your list, but you’ve accepted the fact that you’ll forever play second fiddle to their devoted furry friend — and that’s OK. Lean into your silver-medal status with a gold-star gift for any pet parent: a portrait of their beloved fur-baby that's fit for a king or queen. Our favourite spots for commissioning such works of art include Animalist for under $100 minimalist Scandinavian prints that ship fast, or these highly customisable options from Etsy.
A Private Screening
Film fans need not clutter their living spaces with enormous televisions to enjoy theatre-quality screenings. The cinephile in your life will be delighted to receive a sleek projector that enables them to broadcast their favourite flicks in a larger-than-life format — all they need is a blank wall. Round out the experience with a popcorn maker and some classic boxed candy.
An Excuse To Invite You Over For Dinner
Friends don’t let friends drink alone — whether they’re mixing up mocktails with sensual spritzers, blending a botanically-infused, low-alcohol beverage, or pouring a flight of wine boasting vintages from all over Australia. The gift of a sip (or two) of your loved one’s favourite festive drink will ensure that you’ll get on the guestlist every time.
A Nice Deed For Some Good Boys
Showering your human pals with gifts is great and all, but aren’t you forgetting about one friend in particular — a furry one? (Alexa, play “In The Arms Of An Angel” by Sarah McLachlan.) With a donation to the RSPCA, you can make the holidays a little more homey for a shelter-bound pet.
A Bit Of (Professional) Order
While you may not be in a position to show up at your loved one’s doorstep with gloves and a contractor bag, there are professionals out there who can help your giftee get that cramped wardrobe space or helplessly higgledy-piggledy cupboards in order. Once the organisational overhaul is said and done, you can put the cherry on top with a few new stylish storage solutions to help them keep their new regime in place — whether that's as big as 16 Piece Airtight Food Storage Containers or as small as Howards Foam 4 Tier Trouser Hanger.
A New Headshot
As remote communication increasingly becomes the norm post-COVID, it’s more important than ever to have a professional headshot — and, unsurprisingly, this is a service that doesn’t come cheap. Give your loved one the gift of a polished online presence with a photoshoot done by a photographer in your local area.
A Really (Really, Really) Nice Candle
Candles come in all shapes, sizes, and prices — and it’s those fancy aspirational ones from brands with exotic names that we covet the most (but may not always have the extra coin for). A splashy candle is a true treat for that someone on your list. It’s both a precious object and a scent experience that can transport your recipient to a new time and place, even if they’re just sitting in their living room.
A New Signature Recipe
If your loved one spends most of their time tinkering in the kitchen trying out new recipes, they’ll welcome a gift that helps them hone their craft and develop a stable of go-to meals. Whether it’s immersive instruction from a professional chef, a top-rated cookbook, or a journal that will help them log culinary successes (and failures), there’s a perfect present here for your beloved home chef.
A Green Friend
A plant is that rare gift that’s simultaneously crowd-pleasing and totally extraordinary. Think about it — a small sliver of the natural world that lives indoors and, with strategic care and neglect, changes a little bit more every day? It’s a sure-fire way to bring happiness to any home, and we’re always looking for new and creative ways to bring some greenery to our loved one’s homes.
A Reason To Relax
Does your loved one need to slow down? If any number of modern-day stressors has the person on your list keyed up, you can help them get centred with one of the many online platforms that offer guidance in meditation and focus. The mobile-friendly Headspace app offers breathing exercises, guided meditations, and sleep casts to help you wind down; while websites like Glo allow users to stream yoga and meditation courses from a variety of vetted instructors. If you want to go the physical gift route, then we recommend opting for a meditation cushion to help encourage their practice OR an infrared sauna blanket for an at-home steam experience.
A Ticket To A Live Show
A Favourite Song
While your giftee is definitely your musical muse, you may lack the chops to actually pen a tune in their honour — this doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t give them the gift of song this year. Skip the streaming-service subscription and opt for an analog listening experience in the form of a cherished album on vinyl, or invest in an exhaustive collection of a favourite singer’s lyrics. Or, if only an original recording will do, you can have a song custom-written for them.
When it comes to gifting, a token that’s tailor-made will be cherished for years to come — and we can’t think of anything more bespoke than a custom-drawn comic book with your loved one in the leading role (especially if that loved one happens to be a kid). Sites from Etsy to Uncommon Goods offer character customisation in a slew of narratives for your giftees who possess big main character energy.
A Nice Piece Of Jewellery
Jewellery can be a tricky thing to gift, but we have a specific strategy when choosing the sentimental stuff. First, keep it small — a layerable necklace or skinny stacking band won’t interfere with whatever vibe your magpie giftee is currently chasing. Second, keep the jewellery personalised. Whether you’re gifting your loved one with a ring engraved with the custom coordinates of a special place, earring studs detailing a favourite nickname, or an elegant monogram necklace, there are tons of options that feel bespoke.
A Skincare Splurge
There are certain skincare products whose seemingly supernatural restorative properties and triple-digit price tags have become the stuff of legend; miracle-workers like La Mer moisturizers to legendary Augustinus Bader The Rich Creams or LED-light therapy face masks from the reader-favourite likes of Dr. Dennis Gross. Unless you're planning on treating them to an expert's chemical peel or some Botox, the aforementioned treatments and tools are the next best gifting thing.