A present a day keeps the Bah Humbug at bay!

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a partridge in a pear tree.  Really? We don’t know about you, but there are many things we’d rather find behind the doors of our advent calendar this year than birds and bushes. To give you plenty of ideas beyond the supermarket chocolate calendar options, here are a few quirky and clever ideas to make your Christmas countdown much more fun!

For the little man (or lady!) in your life, Lego is the gift that keeps on giving. Build the advent calendar, complete with 24 gifts including mini dolls, special characters and pets, then use the pieces all year round to create hundreds of new creations.

For those who prefer their creations to be with words and pictures, the Smiggle advent calendar houses 24 stationery treats. With everything you need for the desk and for creativity that will continue well into the new year, this clever countdown is great for older children.

Not every advent calendar needs to have a surprise behind the door. Why not create your own calendar with an activity to enjoy as a family for each day in the lead up to Christmas? Bake cookies, write cards, put up the tree – your activity list is as creative as your imagination! How about looking at Christmas lights in your neighbourhood or watching a Christmas themed film together?! Click here for some great presentation ideas!

For those in need of a laugh, Bookworld proudly presents the Dave Walker advent calendar. A laugh a day keeps the doctor away, and will help lighten your spirit during the stressful Christmas period. Filled with humour relevant to the season, this advent calendar will have you chuckling like Santa until December 24.

Grown up girls will love the Benefit Cosmetics advent calendar.
Beauty gifts include the tried and tested cult products, to the latest and most delicious ways to pamper your skin. It will feel like every day is Christmas with surprises like these to look forward to!

If you need something with a little kick to get you through the festive season, it’s a genius idea to try a new craft beer everyday in the lead up to Christmas. Simply purchase 24 bottles of local, international and craft beer, and sample suds from around the world everyday for the month. Switch with spirit samplers and create clever cocktails if beer is not to your liking.

Solve the Christmas Card Conundrum!

Sending Christmas cards is a special part of the festive season. From the first year you write cards for your school friends, to the days you find yourself posting cards overseas in late November to ensure they reach family far away, Christmas cards are an often underrated part of the holidays. Bring back the magic of finding a personal message in the post this Christmas. Whether you decide to buy them, make them, post, email or hand deliver – everyone loves getting mail that isn’t a bill.

JingleBellsCardThe custom of sending Christmas Cards was started in the UK in 1843. Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ with Hallmark is almost as old as this tradition itself, but these days you can make the message personal. Hallmark offer a range of greeting cards for Christmas, tailored to that special someone, that you can customize with names or photographs. A Christmas card that will be treasured for many years to come.

More of a ‘save the world, one Christmas Card at a time’ kinda person? Ecards are a great way to have a bit of fun, and save on paper and postage. Elf Yourself started a few years back and allows you to insert a photograph of your head, and those of a few friends, into a comical elf dance routine performed by elves. Jingle all the way!JibJab

The JibJab Ecards are similar, but give you more opportunity to choose your own amusing dance scene. This year you can twerk, race sleds, perform the reindeer Macarena or get into the holiday disco spirit. Heaps of fun for all ages, and sent to your entire address book at the click of a button.

Doing your bit for charity feels even more important during the festive season. The beautiful cards available at the Oxfam Shop will show your loved ones how much they mean to you, and help those in need over the holidays with proceeds supporting humanitarian efforts.OxfamCorpCard

Companies and organisations can also work towards a future free of poverty by creating personalised corporate cards via Oxfam! The Oxfam Christmas Card Creator allows you to choose one of thirteen unique Christmas card designs, complete with your company logo. Order exactly as many as you require and wish clients and colleagues a very Merry Christmas.

One step further than simply sending a Christmas cardCarelamb is to purchase a CAREgift, and have them send you a gift card that you then give to someone special. You’ll be helping a community in need, and the card on the mantle will be a lovely reminder over the holiday season.

Feeling crafty? Head to your local craft shop and pick up some coloured paper, pens, glue and glitter. A great project to work on with the kids, you can create any kind of Christmas Card you want… go nuts! Grandparents especially will treasure these homemade creations.  We love the great ideas you’ll find on Better Homes and Gardens.BHGcard

Need some help knowing when to send things overseas, how much Christmas stamps costs or assistance with parcels? Visit Australia Post’s dedicated Christmas page for all the info you need.

Great Gifts for Grandparents!

If you are lucky enough to have Grandparents, you often want to spoil them silly at Christmas – but what do you get the people who have enjoyed over 200 birthdays, Christmases and parent days? They quite possibly have EVERYTHING, so you’ll need to think outside the box for this one. Nonnas and Pops like to spend their money on their children and grandchildren, so this Christmas, take the time to find something they’ll simply love.

Is Grandpa a dapper gent? The range of cufflinks available at ecufflinks is vast, and tailors to each and every hobby, favorite film, tradition and outfit. We love these watch cufflinks – a little bit quirky and elegant at the same time.watchcuff

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a children’s classic. What grandparent wouldn’t love to sing this tune with their grandchild, being able to reference their very own twinkling spot in space? Dedicate a star to your beloved grandparent so they can own a special place in the sky, forever.

Are your parents’ avid golf fans in their retirement? The Golf Society features designer golf clothing, ideal for his and hers outfits to hit the green in.

goldcardsIf bridge and poker is more their style, this set of 24 carat gold plated playing cards are a clever way for them to show off to their friends. Great for playing snap with the grandkids too!

Older years are there to be enjoyed, and what better way than with a special drop of wine? Wine Selectors range of organic wines are preservative free and easy on the stomach, so they can enjoy a glass (or two!) without worry.

scalesThere aren’t many Nanna’s who don’t love strutting their stuff in the kitchen, so a pair of kitchen scales that alternate between liquid and weight measurements at the touch of a button would be super handy. Also great for teaching grandkids about quantities and cooking!

For the grandfather who can’t give up the tongs and BBQ mate just yet, this portable, ‘take anywhere’ grill is great for family catch-ups at the park, beach or in the backyard. All you’ll need to bring is the snags!grill

Perhaps Grandma and Grandpa have a little more time on their hands in retirement and a holiday is the answer! Escapes Direct recommend beachfront villas and tropical getaways – you’ll want to tag along! Give them a gift voucher and a little nudge in the direction of a plane.

Closer to home, Red Balloon offer adrenaline filled ideas for the more adventurous grandparents. Does Nan or Pa have a bucket list? You’ll find everything on it (and more!) here.

WishesJournalFor more traditional grandmothers, Willow Tree has created journals, for the grandparent to share stories, wisdom and hopes for the future of their children and grandchildren. A lovely gift that can one day be returned to you, full of memories of your treasured grandmother or grandfather.

8 Surprising Eco Gifts for Christmas!

In the midst of all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that Christmas is potentially a time of incredible harm to the environment, where we dispose tonnes of packaging into landfill and obtain many things that we just don’t need or want. Why not consider the future of our planet when giving this festive season and what we might do, however small, to help remember the future. 

Bamboo is a sustainable fabric that uses far less water than cotton in its production process. If you must buy the traditional socks and undies this Christmas, grab the bamboo alternative by Boody Organic.

Children often receive many gifts at Christmas that they take one glance at before turning their attention to the wrapping paper or cardboard box. Cut out the middleman with this Little Aeroplane for Kids (pictured).  Let them decorate to their hearts content, then hop in and hold on.beershampoo

You’ve heard the old wives tale about using beer to make your hair shiny, but we think that’s a waste of good beer. Try a Tasmanian Beer Shampoo bar, that’s easy to take travelling, produced in Australia and good for your hair!

If new furniture is required, source a new corner chair from Karton. The Egg Chair is a design dream, and made entirely of cardboard! Let the recipient tailor the colour to suit their living space. 

mangowoodHand carved from natural mango wood, a set of beautiful Mango Wood Salad Servers will be a gift that can be used for years after the Christmas decorations have been put away. A practical and sustainably sourced gift. 

Style and design is important when choosing a gift. You want to know a piece will stand the test of time and continue to be a talking point for years to come. The Twist Table is sure to create conversation, be it at home or the office.

ecodogA pet is not just for Christmas, they are a lifetime investment. If you don’t think your friend has what it takes, get them an eco-pet – a camel, dog, deer or butterfly. Paint, build, name and recycle when they’re done.

Don’t forget your real pets! The Ha-Ra Pet Care pack contains a special cleaning solution, a spray bottle and their clever fibre based cleaning glove to ensure your beloved pets are clean and green.