With Christmas fast approaching, time is ticking for you to find the perfect gifts for the special people in your life. When it comes to celebrating Christmas in Australia, it’s often the thought that counts and not the price of the gift itself. That means, even if you’re on a tight budget, you have plenty of affordable options to show people you care.
Many brands have online stores and offer international shipping, which makes buying presents online a breeze. However, it’s important to know what you’re legally allowed to have shipped to Australia. Be sure to check out our online shopping guide for more information on best practices and import laws.
Here are some of the most popular gift ideas to help you choose the right ones for your favourite people.
Best gifts in 2023
This year’s rundown of the most popular gifts include new technology; think cool and useful devices such as wireless earphones, fitness trackers and portable wireless speakers. Boardgames, beauty products and homewares (e.g., candles, cushions and indoor plants) are also excellent options.
Of course, you aren’t restricted to physical objects. From escape rooms to wine tours, awesome experiences are also some of the best gifts in 2023.
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Gift ideas for friends and family back home
If your immediate family members don’t live close by, you probably want to get them something special since you won’t be spending Christmas with them in person.
Voucher – An easy but thoughtful option is to them a voucher or gift card for their favourite stores back home. With this gift, you’re giving your loved ones the opportunity to enjoy a special treat of their choice.
Subscriptions – For a long-lasting gift, subscription boxes (for example, monthly mystery book selections, or curated wine deliveries) can be thoughtful gifts. Or, you can grab a Spotify Premium or Netflix gift card. If they like the service, they can renew their membership.
Sentimental gifts – No doubt your family and friends back home are missing you, so gift them with a Long distance lamp that you can light up from the other side of the world when you’re thinking of them. Or, you can share a bit of your experience with your family back home by sending a hamper with all your favourite Australian snacks.
Tokens of Aussie culture – While you might be staying Down Under for Christmas, you can still spoil your loved ones back home – and what better way to do it than with quintessential Aussie items? Send them a care package of Australia’s best snacks, such as Vegemite, TimTams, Shapes crackers – hint: the pizza flavour is the best – and Caramello koalas. Or, for your fashionable friends and family members, send back clothing or accessories from Aussie brands. Whether it’s footwear from UGGs or Blundstones, or a classic Akubra hat, you’re sure to find something to suit every style.
Think they might be sending gifts your way in return? If you’ll be receiving gifts from overseas, consult our handy guide to ensure you get your package in time for Christmas.
Gifts for new friends and housemates
A good gift for a new friend or housemate is something affordable yet personal.
Custom mugs – Head to local department stores like Kmart or Big W for customisable items like a coffee mug with photos printed on them, which you can pair with a bag of coffee beans or some nice teabags.
Beauty products – Everyone has to wash, so they might as well have some nice bath products to use! Gift sets are also an easy present to give and are available at iconic Australian brands such as Mecca and The Body Shop.
Food – There’s no safer option than a chocolate Christmas gift. If your friend is a lover of luxury, perhaps get them a couple of jars of artisanal jam or a pre-assembled cheese platter. If they are caffeine addicts, tea from T2 or a bag of their favourite coffee beans is another good idea.
Technology – There’s a tech gift for every interest and every need. If your new friend is a music lover, why not gift them a portable speaker, a vinyl briefcase or a pair of headphones? While these items can sometimes run a bit expensive, you can find high-quality options for affordable prices.
If their study-from-home setup needs an upgrade, a great gift could be a portable Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Logitech’s Pebble 2 keyboard-mouse combo is an awesome option, coming in a range of colours to suit every style.
Secret Santa/Kris Kringle gifts
If you’re keen to share a little Christmas cheer with your friends, peers or colleagues in Australia, a great idea is to play Secret Santa/Kris Kringle. The idea is to set a gift cost limit (say $20) and then have each person pick a name at random. The person you pick is who you will buy a gift for. Here are some ideas that everyone will love!
Alcohol – Depending on what your giftee likes to drink, a six-pack of their favourite craft beer, bottle of wine or cocktail mix from a brand like Mr Consistent will get you in the good books. Or, if you’re after something a little more sophisticated, a bottle of whisky could be a great option, such as McConnell’s Irish whisky.
You may even want to go above and beyond by gifting not only something they can drink, but something they can drink out of. CLINQ’s Margarita Gift Box is a great option, featuring a full-sized bottle of Cointreau (an essential ingredient in many beverages) and two luxe coupe glasses.
Games – Surprise your giftee with a game that brings everyone together! Classics like Code Names and Scattergories are always a hit, or you can opt for newer games like Fiction or Earth. These games are a great way to keep the party going!
Other – Other examples of gifts that fall within this price range include a candle, a cinema voucher or a book.
Before you start shopping, set a gift cost limit that you each feel comfortable with. To guide your gift choices, think about the things they enjoy doing.
A gift to complement their hobby – Is your partner a gamer? If so, a couple of new video games or a JB Hi-Fi or Steam gift card would be an awesome gift. If your partner loves fitness, get them some dumbbells, a yoga mat, a pack of workout classes or even some Shokz headphones that are designed specifically for exercising.
A new experience – Surprise your significant other with a fun activity so you can experience something new together. Red Balloon has a huge assortment of experience vouchers to choose from. Or, you can decide to forgo traditional gift-giving and split the cost of an activity you’d like to do together instead. Perhaps a romantic dinner out, a cooking class, a concert or a weekend getaway.
Personalised gifts – Many people appreciate thoughtful gifts over expensive ones. You can express your appreciation for your significant other with a sentimental gift like framing your favourite photo of both of you, ordering a personalised Christmas ornament or making a custom voucher booklet filled with date ideas for them to cash in whenever they like.
If you’d like to be more conscious with your gift-giving this year, consider turning your dollars into social good by buying from local businesses or companies that are making a positive impact on communities. Below are some examples of how you can go green this Christmas.
Eco-friendly presents – If your loved ones are always on the go, a reusable ceramic coffee cup or drink bottle from Frank Green is the perfect gift for them, or check out The Conscious Store for zero-waste products.
Buy from charity stores – Many local charity stores such as Vinnies and Red Cross will have a great gift selection at this time of the year – even just buying wrapping paper from one of these stores will help a great cause. Alternatively, i=Change partners with e-commerce businesses that donate a portion of your purchase to a charity of your choice.
For animal lovers – Support koala conservation in Australia by symbolically adopting a koala through the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This thoughtful gift includes a koala toy, adoption certificate, WWF booklet, sticker, and regular updates on koala protection efforts. A perfect present for wildlife enthusiasts, contributing directly to an important environmental cause.
Do’s and don’ts of Christmas gifts
Christmas is a time for gratitude, connection and fun. So, focus on spending time with people you love and creating new traditions.
It’s not about the gifts or how much you get, but the spirit of giving and sharing. If you choose to buy gifts for people, don’t expect to receive them back. Give without expectation because it’s what you genuinely want to do.
Likewise, if someone gives you a gift and you didn’t get one for them, let them know how much you appreciate the gesture and maybe buy them a drink to say thank you. Here in Australia, spreading Christmas cheer is really that simple.