From presents that give back to edible treats, Guardian Australia and a team of guest editors select the best gifts and shopping options to please everyone from kids to chronic grumps this Christmas
We’ve been warned: shop early or risk disappointment. Between supply chain chaos, local delivery woes and the ongoing pandemic, getting your end-of-year gifts in order is going to take a bit of extra planning in 2021.
So we’ve made a list – of gift ideas that are local, sustainable, socially minded or just plain delightful – and checked it twice, to create Guardian Australia’s largest gift guide to date.
We haven’t done it alone. We asked five guest editors, each with their own areas of expertise, to contribute ideas.
Shannon Wong-Nizic: When not in the parenting trenches, Shannon is a primary school teacher with more than a decade of experience across all ages and stages. While on maternity leave with her firstborn, Shannon started the blog Oh Creative Day where she celebrates her superpower of teaming picture books with creative projects. She has selected children’s gifts, from babies through to upper primary school.
Dr Michelle Wong: A cosmetic chemist and science educator, Michelle busts beauty myths with her blog Lab Muffin. She explores the science behind makeup and skincare, and has selected grooming gifts in line with her evidence-based approach.
Rhys Ripper: The creative director and stylist runs his own men’s fashion mag, Cobber, and works as the creative director of Kin – a pilot program by Kinaway to support locally made, circular First Nations fashion and textiles in Melbourne. When it comes to gifts, he’s focused on the stories behind the objects and has selected a range of thoughtful fashion, design and homewares, with interesting makers in mind.
Alice Zaslavsky: Author of In Praise of Veg, recipe writer, culinary wizard and, all right, also MasterChef Australia alum, Alice has mined her kitchen to curate a selection of local cookware for everyone from obsessive home cooks to novices.
Max Brearley: 2021 was a bumper year for Australian cookbooks, and the food journalist has pored through them all to select the best of the bunch.
Some of our guest editors will be sharing their gift-giving philosophies over the coming weeks. And, if you’ve missed Australia Post’s all-important shipping deadline this year, do not fear. We have updated the gift guide with over 30 extra last-minute gifts you can give right up until Christmas morning.
How to browse
First and most importantly – you can filter based on price. Just use the slider at the top of the guide to set your budget before you browse.
If you’re looking for a gift you can give at the last minute, use the last minute toggle.
You can also filter our gifts by guest editor, to see a particular editor’s picks. For kids’ gifts we have grouped items by ages – from babies to all-too-challenging teens. To filter out gifts that are just for kids, pick “grown-ups” from the kids dropdown menu.
If you’re looking for a particular kind of gift, you can browse by what it’s for – pick “reading” for books, “consuming” for food and drink, “relaxing” for presents that are aimed to de-stress, “wearing” for clothing and beauty, and, for art and homewares, choose “looking at” (although most of the gifts are good for that).
Finally, if you know who you’re shopping for but not what they want, browse by who it’s for. From grumps to adventurers, we’ve also selected based on the mood of the recipient.