Well it’s that time of year again when gift shopping is going to be number one on your to-do list. Here are 10 suggestions that will hit the ‘Good Gift’ list:
1. Subscriptions. Is there something the little darlings like doing? Pay for next year’s subscription to the rugby club or abseiling club or whatever she is into. This is a gift for Mum and Dad of course, you’ll still need to buy that crash helmet the little one had their eye on. Check that they still intend to carry on with whatever they were into this year. Maybe there’s something new they want to try.
2. Clubs and groups. Worried about someone getting a bit isolated on their own? Old or young, pay a membership to a club where they’ll meet people with similar interests. Scouts and Girl Guides are fantastic for getting the younger ones outside and making friends. For the older set, Men’s Sheds are great places for a bit of carpentry and company, or maybe Bridge, croquet, silver smithing or gem cutting will be a hit.
3. Lessons. Pay for Mum or Dad’s ballet, archery, tai chi, cooking, sewing, sailing etc. lessons. You know, the ones they never took because they spent the money on little someone’s classes instead. Check first though, don’t buy that knitting course if they’ve developed an allergy to wool. Give to the whole family with sailing lessons, horse riding lessons, abseiling classes. Check the lessons are flexible enough to allow for fitting into a family schedule.
4.Outings. Buy everyone tickets for a day out on a cruise, whale watching, admission to a theme park, one day test match, footie, ballet, theatre, or anywhere else they would love to go. Check dates before you do this though so you fit in with busy calendars.
5. Hired help. Hire a gardener, a spring cleaner, a home handyman or anyone else who can help on a job that’s been on hold. You may be able to buy a voucher with some agencies making this more flexible. Consider a regular appointment e.g. cleaner or Nanny to fit in with a work-at- home parent.
6. Time out. Organise a day spa complete with childcare and taxi transport. Not into spas? Try an overnighter at a luxury hotel or a muddy boots weekend trek or a meditation retreat. Or maybe just a kid-free house for a weekend.
7. Workshops. Do they have a yen for wood work, pottery, painting? There are many artisan workshops and residential classes in the Brisbane surrounds. Organise childcare so they can indulge in a weekend of woodturning or quilting.
8. Pet care. The furriest (or scaliest) member of the family can be pretty expensive. Pay for those puppy school lessons, or the registration or next month’s vaccinations at the vet. The fur baby will be grateful (the scaly one is smiling on the inside).
9. Help out. If you have time, expertise and gear you could offer to help finish that cleanout, painting, sanding, concreting, sewing job that’s on their to-do list. Or offer to help with the Christmas catering, end of year work do or New Year’s catering extravaganza. Tech savy? How about sitting down and patiently showing them how to use Facebook Messenger or how to Skype their grandchildren overseas?
10. Donating. Finally, that perfect gift for business acquaintances or your best friend’s son-in-law’s mother who’ll be at the Christmas party. Donate to a charity on their behalf, but make it thoughtful, pick a charity you really believe in and one they would approve of or support.
Whatever you end up choosing as the perfect gift, you’ll still have the best present of the season, the feeling of giving.
Tea-drinker, writer and editor. Ecologist, environmental scientist, futurist and student of irony.
Reader of romance and science fiction. Practicing cat-herder. Frequently succumbs to the need to write. Rarely succumbs to the need to vacuum.
She also has a website at http://kalyonnswrites.weebly.com/ and http://www.longnightcafe.com/