Our lives are crowded with things, and Christmas gifts – though well meant – often only add to the clutter. This Christmas, give someone you love an extraordinary experience, the enjoyment of which will last well beyond the present-giving frenzy of the festive season.
1. Outfit angel. A personal shopper or stylist can be a great gift for someone who needs to look chic but doesn’t have the time or the sartorial savvy to shop for themselves. Personal stylist services might range from a guided shopping trip to a skilled overhaul of an existing wardrobe.
>> See 5 ways to refresh your look
2. Home body. If your gift recipient’s weakness is decorating, the services of an interior stylist might be a welcome tool to help them pull their home’s look together. Alternatively, plenty of stylists run workshops: Megan Morton’s The School has regular courses in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
3. Sizzling hot. Whether you’re shopping for a master chef or a toast-burning novice, a cooking class is a brilliant gift idea. If your recipient is in the former category, think outside the box with a sushi-making class, fermentation course or a lesson on baking the perfect loaf.
>> See top 10 cooking classes
4. Get creative. Release the artist inside the accountant with a creative course. Whatever your friend’s secret passion – photography, ceramics, interpretative dance – a series of classes will give them a new set of skills and get their creative juices flowing.
5. Fit for life. Is your friend or loved one complaining that their exercise routine is getting stale? Shake things up with a 10-class pass to expand their fitness horizons. Try yoga for stress heads, something high-octane like boxing or even a dance class.
7. Leave pass. If you need an idea for a parent of young children, a night in a hotel might be the ultimate gift. Silence, soft sheets and time away from the chaos equals complete bliss and a much-needed opportunity to recharge. (NB: an offer to babysit would be the icing on the cake.)
8. Frightfully generous. For anyone with a passing interest in the paranormal, a ghost tour of one of Australia’s most haunted spots might be the perfect present.
9. Hey, Flipper! The experience of swimming with wild dolphins, seals or whale sharks is a gift of pure joy. Send your friend on a tour where they’ll get the chance to snorkel among these exquisite mammals and they will thank you forever.
10. Spa day, darling. Looking for a gift to soothe a stressed-out friend? A spa voucher is serenity in an envelope. Something outside the square will set your gift apart: maybe a hot stone massage, Hawaiian “lomi lomi” or a massage teamed with a session in a floatation tank.