12 gift giving ideas you may not have thought of

12 gift giving ideas you may not have thought of

Nikki ParkinsonLife 7 Comments

I get asked a lot about where to buy gifts, particularly if you’re looking for something different or need to send it to someone. I thought I’d share 12 gift giving ideas you may not have thought of. This also might a post you want to share with the person/people shopping for you now – or at any time of the year. #justsaying

Five things I’d love to encourage you when shopping for gifts:

  1. Where you can, buy in store or online from a small, independent retailer. The impact you have is immediate and has a flow-on effect into that community.
  2. And when that retailer is based in our drought-affected regions, you’re doubling up on the love bomb that your dollars can bring to regions really doing it tough.
  3. It’s the thought that counts … so put a little thought in! This is a big one. Don’t just go through the motions when it comes to gift giving. THINK, like really THINK of the person you’re buying for. It’s not necessarily about what you would buy for yourself; it’s about what they would really get a kick out of. Don’t be afraid to research, ask questions of friends and relatives, stalk their social media accounts … a little bit of effort will yield many an idea.
  4. When you are shopping for others, (if you can – every bit helps) do also support charities in need. The Lady Musgrave Trust, Suited to Success and Share the Dignity are always on my giving radar. These are all charities that support disadvantaged women in our community (and often their children). 
  5. Lastly, if you’re reading this because your partner has sent you a link to this post and you’re still clueless as to what to buy the most important person in your life, ask them! And if you’re the one sending this link, follow that up with direct links to what you really want. Be clear and you’ll never be disappointed … just ask my husband 😂 

12 gift giving ideas you may not have thought of

Gift cards

I know that, for some, gift cards seem a bit of a cop out. But give the right gift card to the right recipient and the result is the complete opposite. When it’s a gift card from a store that you know that person LOVES shopping at, then you are giving the gift that keeps on giving.  

A little thing my husband and I started last year was a gift card exchange each time it was our birthday/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/wedding anniversary/Christmas. We each put them together to get something big, something we wouldn’t have gone out and just bought each other for one occasion. He got snowboard (and all the requisite bits that go with it) and I got a handbag that I had been lusting after for some time. Last Christmas he wanted Bunnings gift cards from the family to buy a lawn mower* and I’m working slowly and steadily towards another bag. Our family don’t pay any more than they would have otherwise on a gift for each of us and we get something we really want. 

*oh the romance 🙄

Experiences and/or travel (PRE-COVID!) 

If you want your gift card to create memories, then choose one that gives the recipient an experience. Think about what they most like to do or something they’ve always wanted to do.

Maybe you have a young adult you are buying for, someone who’s planning a trip? A Flight Centre gift card will be very welcome and every bit helps.

Other experiences I’d recommend include a day spa visit, a breakfast to remember, a romantic weekend away, a perfume masterclass or a makeup technique one-on-one or a personal styling session.


I don’t hesitate to buy clothes for the men in my life but women? We are indeed more complicated. If in doubt, revert to the gift card scenario but do seek out a gift card from a store that is one of their favourites. Hint: you can tell that by a quick flick through her wardrobe. 

Can I cheekily suggest Styling You The Label 🤗… but also FRANKiE4White Label NobaBinny, Active Truth and all the independent labels I’ve featured this season in Model and Me posts on the blog.


Jewellery is super personal. You really want to know the person, or be guided well. I love how Uberkate has a partner hint button on all its products. HAH. Use it!  Other Australian fine jewellery makers I love can be found here. For statement style, check out F+H Jewellery, Jilly Marsden, Jimena Alejandra and Christie Nicholaides. For some fabulously fun and colourful pieces from local creatives, check out Thousand Island Dressing

Or if they have ALL the jewellery but nowhere to store it, Bon Maxie has you covered.

Beauty gifts 

If you have a beauty obsessive on your gift-giving list, tread cautiously. A little detective work will show up which brands she loves. You could then either go down the gift card path or buy a curated Christmas pack from one of her favourite brands. Bundles usually have a discount attached to them (loving this one at Bettyquette) or are a limited edition offering. 

Maybe the beauty obsessive already has all the products she could need? She might just need something to house them in when travelling. I bought the Bekka May beauty bag (PRE COVID).


Think outside the square at your local bottle shop. If they love a gin, whiskey or beer, look for a boutique craft offering. The Gin Queen is my go-to on what’s new or noteworthy with gins from around corner and around the world. If they love Champagne, buy their fave or something they may not have tried before. The Bubble Diva is my go-to (and she offers Champagne Masterclasses). A good independent bottle shop can also offer up great suggestions. Bundle it with some Recoverthol and Sip Bubbles.

Need to send a boozy gift? Cocktail Porter has you covered. I was gifted a Cocktail Porter box last year and then paid that gift forward, sending quite a few boxes throughout the year to clients, staff and friends.


When it comes to sending gifts – Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Days, thank-you or otherwise – the right food gift can very much hit the spot. I send quite a few Mason Baker gifts each year. Let’s all eat cake in a jar, I say! Looking for a savoury alternative? My go-to is Say Cheese. Want to go big? Send a gift card for a grazing table or platter.

Want to make a foodie gift. Check out this video from BabyMac for a fabulous and easy idea. Love these ideas from Fat Mum Slim for a dessert platter too.


I’m unsure how I stumbled upon Fleurieu Gifts but I’ve been buying and sending gifts from this South Australian business ever since. The heart wreath is one of my faves.


For someone who loves creating beautiful spaces at home, do check out Sunday Society, The Builder’s Wife and Add to Cart. Both offer a beautifully curated collection of pieces that the entertainer would love in their home.

I’m obsessed by Carys Martin hand-crafted ceramics – the travel cups and talismans are incredible. Also, my graphic designer Amanda has just launched a new art business, Flourish Ink Art, and the pieces are so stunning.

A word here about home electronic devices. Just don’t. UNLESS they have been specifically requested, of course.


If in doubt, bring the humour. I can also always rely on Add To Cart to bring the quirky goods when it comes to gifts. Another site that always brings the laughs (with a language warning) is The Inappropriate Gift Co.


It can be tricky to gift books unless you’re up with what the recipient is reading. Also take note if they’re an old-school paperback or iBook/Kindle reader. Our eldest son is a voracious reader – always has been – and was out to sea on Christmas Day, so he directed us to his Goodreads profile where he compiled a list of books that he’d love to read next. His instructions to us were to go in, check the list, then gift books to him via iBooks. He thought it would be fun to see which ones we each choose for him from the 80+ on the list!


This can be the the trickiest gift buying of all. More than ever, you need to dig deep into what they’re really into; what they like doing; and what they’re not just going to go out and buy themselves. Some gifts that I’ve managed to surprise my husband with include a bar cart (complete with accessories and his favourite whiskey); a new work backpack/laptop bag; a leather overnight bag; and tickets to a concert he really wanted to see. Mostly we either do the gift card thing or “gift” each other holiday spending money if we happen to be going away just after Christmas.

Comments 7

  1. Love a giftcard and a good book but usually don’t buy many “real” books anymore only my Stephen King ones.
    I find the men in my life the hardest to buy for.

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  2. Ooh I love your son’s Goodreads idea! That’s so clever! Lots of original ideas here, thanks Nikki! I’m over seeing Diptyque candle sets on gift guides… #grinch?

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  3. If you’re shopping for the gardener in your life, may I suggest you #buyfromthebush and support my dear friends nursery Perennialle Plants in Canowindra NSW?
    The #buyfromthebush movement has been a great support for them. Chris and Nerida stock stunning garden accessories as well as tough, drought hardy and beautiful plants.

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