If you’re stuck for Christmas present ideas and want to give your nearest and dearest something thoughtful, these suggestions may help.
Healthy suggestions: Encourage your loved ones to be healthy with your gift choices this year.
Steaming vegetables is the healthiest way of cooking them – they retain more nutrients when lightly steamed.
Herb garden kit
This is one way of encouraging the recipient to add healthy herbs to their cooking – they’re more likely to use them if they’ve got a supply handy that they’ve grown themselves.
Blood pressure monitor
These mean you can keep an eye on your blood pressure without having to make numerous visits to the doctor.
Not just for kids, they’re a great way of staying in shape. Vigorous hula-hooping can burn calories as well as tone abdominal and gluteal muscles. Make sure you get a proper weighted hula hoop, not a kids’ version.
Something special: If the person you are buying for has got everything, you may need to think outside the box.
You’ll earn brownie points from your mum/nana/auntie/sister/friend if you get them a year’s subscription to one of the Weekly' magazines!
Lots of charities offer the chance to make a donation in the name of someone you would otherwise give a gift to. These can include donating livestock, water tanks and school books, or help fund vaccine programmes. See gift.org.nz
You can’t go wrong with vouchers for a massage, facial or other treats. If you can stretch to it, a day at a spa is always popular.
If your loved one’s idea of an ultimate treat is having their housework done for them, or chores such as cleaning the oven taken care of, check out special deals on websites such as GrabOne. Or why not make up a coupon yourself and do the cleaning for them? Dad, meanwhile, might appreciate a voucher to get his car valeted.
There’s still a little bit of time to put some thought into a special gift like a photo album or a home movie. Albums can be put together online and there are plenty of apps that let you create movies that can combine video clips and still photos.
Experiences: Research shows that we value experiences more than stuff, so giving vouchers for an activity – or organising to take them to do something fun or challenging yourself – can go down a treat.
There are plenty to choose from, such as introductory yoga classes, creative writing workshops and cordon bleu cooking courses.
Concert and show tickets
You can either book tickets for a performance that’s coming up or buy a gift card from a company like Ticketmaster or Auckland Theatre Company so they can put it towards something they’d like to see.
These are another good idea if you’re stumped for gifts.
Take them to visit a local tourist attraction
When you live near a destination that is popular with visitors, often you never get around to taking a look yourself. Aucklanders might want to go up the Sky Tower, Wellingtonians may appreciate a look around the Beehive and how many Dunedinites have been to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory?
If someone on your Christmas list has always wanted to try kayaking, paddleboarding or abseiling, now’s your chance to make them happy!