I love this time of the year. Though Christmas never quite feels like “Christmas” for me in a sunshine-filled country with barbecues and flip-flops, getting to switch off for a few days with friends and family, champagne breakfasts followed by afternoon swims really has started to grow on me.

As always I wanted to do a little gift wrap-up, but at the same time I want to remind you all of the importance of shopping locally, sustainably and thoughtfully. More than ever have I realised that this time of the year really can be filled not only with wasteful decisions and impulse buying (really, just for the sake of buying), but also financial and family stresses that isn’t what this time of the year should be about. If you are buying gifts for one another, choose things that you know will be carefully loved. Buy from a local market if you can. If you’re in Australia and you haven’t heard of Buy from the Bush, make sure you check them out here.

for her.

Selfishly, I’ll start with her. I’ve had a few things on my wish list this year, but I’ve also tried to spend the year — not spending — so a few things ended up on my Christmas list. It’s also a good way to truly test your desire for something… if it’s been on your mind for months, it most probably deserves a spot on your list. Plus, the excitement of receiving something you’ve wanted for so long is a delightful feeling.

Swimwear

Whilst buying swimwear for someone else can be a dangerous game, perhaps there is something that she’s had her eye on for a while. I have been coveting this inamorata one piece for over a year… and whilst swim wear can be cheap and cheerful in other places, the quality is usually terrible and means they don’t last long. Look for quality and a cut and colour that you LOVE, and will therefore last you several seasons.

Jewellery

A beautiful piece of jewellery can mean so much more than just a Christmas gift. I’ve loved my fine pieces of jewellery for years and years and when I’ve bought well they are pieces that I will hold on to forever. Fine gold necklaces are always a winner, I’ve had my eye on this little one for a while…

Home deco

I’m a sucker for a homely home. I’m constantly on the lookout for pieces to add to the collection, but I’m picky as hell. Vintage or new — doesn’t matter, but it has to fit the bill. As we’ve moved 3 times in the last 4 years, the less “stuff” — the better, so these are never impulse buys. This lamp is absolutely on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but I know it’s something that will be treasured forever.

When it comes to art there are a few extremely talented people you should check out, including Jasmine Dowling and Charli Burrowes of Me Oh My. These pieces are affordable yet so personal and beautiful — again, things you will hold on to forever.

inamorata one piece swimsuit, Acne bag, Youth to the People serum, Velvet Canyon sunniesfine gold necklace from AU Rate, ‘Turtles all the way down’ by John Green, artwork by Jasmine Dowling, Brie Leon earrings, Byredo perfume.

for them.

The best part of gift-giving season, I think personally, is the giving part. Now, this is never a fun exercise if you’re in a rush and also running low on ideas, so I wanted to make a little summary of a few things that seem to be fail-safe options for anyone; your partner, parent, sibling or bestie.

But remember, being present is absolutely the best present you can give anyone, especially at the time and place we’re in at the moment. So giving that will be the best gift of all, the other stuff is just that — stuff.

Fresh linen

Yes, this can be tricky if the person you’re buying for has particular taste. But a set of fresh towels or beautiful linen always seems to be a gift that ends up getting well-used, and something a lot of us probably put off buying for ourselves. I purchased Deiji’s sheets about three years ago, and they are still as beautiful as ever, and the best thing to sleep on.

A book

Might seem like a pretty obvious gift, but if you pick well, you can really give a whole lot of joy with one small little gift, and also one which can be passed on once it’s been used. With the year that we’ve had, I randomly stumbled upon Charlie Mackesy and his divine illustrations on Instagram, and when he released his book “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”, I had to get myself a copy. I ended up buying another two for friends and family, as gifts.

Homely things

Or, I guess we could call them ‘knick-knacks’. Beware not to fall into the ‘useless crap’ category here, because there is a lot of poorly made stuff which either ends up broken or in the bin if it’s not though through properly. Think salt & pepper shakers, room sprays, bottle openers or matchbox holders. If you’ve got a bit of a green thumb, grab a few terracotta pots from Bunnings and gift a plat you’ve potted. It’s honestly such a thoughtful gift and will be appreciated for a long, long time.

If you’re gifting kids, for me personally anything that’s not electronic or “just stuff” related has been key. I remember some of my fondest moments with Mum and Dad on holidays was spent playing board games. This year I cam across “Not Parent Approved” which is sure to give us all a couple of laughs.