Natalie Di Paola

It’s that time of year again, and while most would love to shower their loved ones with expensive Christmas gifts, reality does not always allow this. However, there are some clever ideas that prove that it’s the thought that counts – without breaking the bank.

Santa Photos

Santa’s back at most shopping centres now, so make the most of it. A photo of the kids or the whole family is a present that grandparents, uncles, aunties and other close relatives or friends will love. Save money by purchasing smaller dimension photos, which are usually cheaper. Save more money by buying the frame from another store. Knick knack, dollar stores and Department stores such as Kmart sell cute, cheap frames for prices starting at one dollar.

Movie Tickets

Movie tickets are a treat that everyone loves, especially kids who spend the summer holidays watching movies with their friends. You can purchase single ticket vouchers that are worth one ticket or a voucher that can have a chosen amount and be used on snacks and tickets. For a special treat, spouses and partners can be gifted with a Gold Class ticket.

Kris Kringle

Kris Kringle is a great idea for families that are large in number or when the children are all grown up. Each person draws a name out of the hat, saving the time, money and hassle involved in buying a gift for everyone. Settle on a price that suits everyone, limits usually range from $30-$100.

Technology can also help make Kris Kringle easier. Instead of drawing names out of a hat, you can do this online. Websites such as only require your emails before selecting partners for you and even allow them to publish a wishlist for you. You could also create a group chat on Facebook or WhatsApp or a Google Doc for sharing gift ideas.

Basket of Goodies

Another simple yet clever idea is to buy a woven basket and fill it with an assortment of goodies. Fill it with chocolates, Christmas ornaments, shortbreads, candy and more to get into the spirit. These make great family gifts for large families or families of adults, rather than buying a gift for each individual member. To finish it off, decorate the basket with red and green ribbons and other Christmas themes.


Sweets are a yummy treat, and a go-to present. They can make good family gifts that can be shared or an individual gift. For a larger group, buy Favourites or chocolate selection boxes that have enough variety for everyone to enjoy. Christmas also means bringing back shortbreads and other Christmas-only sweets, and a box of these yummy Christmas biscuits can make a great family present. Kids will also love stockings filled with either chocolates or candy.

Christmas Ornaments

Everyone loves decorating the Christmas tree, so add to their collection by buying each member an ornament. Buy baubles with their names on it for a personalised touch, or simply stick to the ornaments from department stores that you think would suit who you’re gifting it to.