Give memorable presents that won't break the bank

Humans love presents, but are terrible at giving them. According to one study, only around 25 per cent of the gifts we give to other people are actually something our loved ones want. The rest are the knick-knacks, novelty T-shirts and Boggle sets that live in the top of our cupboards until we throw them out or pay the present forward by giving that scented bath salt set to somebody else.

So, how do you ensure your presents are going to be a good use of everyone’s time and money? How do you turn the gift-giving season into an opportunity to prove once and for all how awesome you are? And more importantly, how do you do it without bankrupting yourself, your children and your children’s children?

swimming with sharks

Study after study has made it abundantly clear – people are at their happiest when they’re having new experiences. Material possessions may provide a flash of joy, but strap someone into a parachute and push them out of a plane and they’ll be talking about it for years. Not that everything always has to be so high octane. A wine and cheese tour of the Hunter Valley could do the trick, or perhaps a twilight sailing experience around the Mornington Peninsula. Maybe a Vietnamese cooking class held on a Chinese junk boat? The point is, when you stop thinking solely in terms of things you can buy, the world of gift giving becomes a much richer, more exciting place.

Big present little kid

Sure, we’d all love to be like Oprah, dishing out cars like they’re Tic Tacs, but for most of us that’s less a realisable life goal than an invitation to jail time for credit card fraud. The art of the gift is built on working smart, not expensive, which is where our ever-changing sale section comes in. Remember, just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean you have to buy your presents at full price. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

"When you stop thinking solely in terms of things you can buy, the world of gift giving becomes a much richer, more exciting place."


Why settle for the same clothes, books and toys as everybody else? This is the future we’re living in. We can make gifts especially for you (or, more specifically, your partner/child/best friend/secret Santa). From a set of engraved cufflinks to a personally branded beer glass, the chance to design a set of high heels or even a star in the sky they get to name, we've turned personalised gift giving into an art form. Nothing says, “I really thought this present through” like having your loved one’s name emblazoned on a cheese board – and they’re going to be reminded of that every time they crack out the brie. Fact.


There’s no reason the person on the receiving end of the gift should have all the fun. Whether you’re up for a tandem parasailing adventure, a Gold Class cinema experience or a dinner cruise on the Swan River, remember that the best memories are the ones we share with those we love. They’ll definitely enjoy the whole thing a lot more if you’re there with them every step of the way. It would almost be mean not to go.

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