Santa, Can You Hear Us?

Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year, is it not? It’s a chance to pump Mariah on repeat without a shred of shame, eat as many chocolate swirl wafers as is humanly possible without judgement, drink mimosas for breakfast with your grandma like it’s the most natural thing in the world, and feel like Oprah as you sling presents at your loved ones, singing “You get a present! And you get a present!”

Even so, the lead up to Christmas can give even the most chill among us tidal waves of shopping-induced anxiety. Where do you even start? When do you even start? December 1st? August? Boxing Day the previous year??? And don’t even get us going on how easy it is to get side tracked shopping for yourself. So for the next 30 days, we’ll be counting down Christmas with a guide to all the best, most premium yet affordable gift ideas — from those Valentino pumps you’ve had in your cart for months and that Gucci belt you know your BFF will just *die* over, to the La Mer moisturiser you kinda sorta want for yourself, not to mention two hot tix to next year’s Laneway Festival.

That’s why for the next 30 days we’ll be counting down to Christmas with a guide to all the best, most premium yet affordable gift ideas. One gift a day for 30 days. And to kick things off, we asked a few of our favourite people what’s at the top of their wish lists, and the results include many fun, shiny, things, most of which are v. affordable and fit into a stocking.

Words, Madeleine Woon

  • Designer, Maniamania

    Tamila Purvis

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. Derek Henderson’s ‘Crystalline’ collection print. Seeing Derek’s capture of these crystals so large scale on my wall will be an endless source of inspiration, plus 10% each sale goes to the Montessori Indigenous Childrens’ Trust.
    2. Illumination Ring by Maniamania. Mel and I are giving one of our designs to each other these holidays — the Peach Tourmaline mini baguette cut ring is the perfect addition to my every day stacking styles.
    3. Jamie North ‘Remainder’ sculptures. These incredible artworks are made of cement, coal ash, marble waste and living Australian plants. I would love several of them in my life!

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    One for you, one for me….

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    We’ll be at our cabin on the South Coast with lots of family and kids so it will be gifts galore on Christmas morning. Then we always indulge in an organic ham and plenty of seafood and feast all afternoon.

    Best Christmas memory?
    Last year was my son’s first Christmas that he was old enough to be excited about all the gift giving, and all that wrapping paper and excitement was pretty darn cute to watch.

     

  • 1

    Designer, Georgia Alice

    Georgia Currie

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?

    1. Photograph of hotel room by Dan Roberts… It’s nostalgic and and mysterious and I want it hanging on my wall!
    2. Acne ‘Charge’ eyewear in pink/grey — need new sunglasses for SUMMERRRR.
    3. A HOLIDAY — in desperate need of ocean swims and road trips.

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    ALL IN ONE DAY !!

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    Heading to the ocean.

    Best Christmas memory?
    LONDON CHRISTMAS 1996.

  • 2

    Founder, Parlour X

    Eva Galambos

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?

    1. La Mer Crème de la Mer – I have used La Mer for years and it is the only brand I use on my skin.  A pot of this magic potion is a welcomed gift at any time of year but especially at the start of the New Year when my travel schedule is particularly hectic, I can slather it on pre and post flights.
    2. Vouchers – I’ll admit, I am very difficult to buy for so gift vouchers really are the perfect present for me, I have such specific taste.
    3. Coffee table books: fashion, art, photography, lifestyle – I love beautiful imagery and have numerous coffee table books which are all very precious to me as they have been given to me as gifts by friends and family or I have collected on my travels … Books are such a thoughtful gift and have such meaning I am always so grateful for something
    4. Time… If someone could box this up and have it waiting for me under the tree this year, it would be the best possible gift I could ask for. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    I have to be incredibly organised – it’s all about lists, lists and more lists.  I don’t plan months in advance, but have to start by mid-November as I travel so much I’d give Santa a run for his money in terms of miles covered.

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    I’ll be with my family and dear friends at their farm in the NSW Southern Highlands. We’re lucky that they invite us often to escape Sydney and have a truly glorious break surrounded by special people, and far too much food and wine!

  • 3

    Founder, Golightly PR

    Holly Garber

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. Sarah & Sebastian Ovoid Cuff, because it looks so good with the rest of my Sarah & Sebastian pieces. They belong together…
    2. A Ligne Roset Togo sofa in navy blue velvet. I love this sofa and I am happy to have it sit on my wish list for years until it becomes a realistic purchase. Not so much right now with a heavily shedding dog and two small children!
    3. I enjoy the beach but not the sun so one of these please.

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    I am a Christmas shopper with grand plans and the best of intentions but unfortunately little follow through. Luckily for me we keep gifts small and simple in our family and normally exchange books so I visit a good book store like Harry Hartog and then do the rest online.

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    This year Huw and I are hosting our families at our home for the first time so we will be in our backyard, eating and relaxing with our extended family. My mother has decreed it a Greek Christmas and so we are all currently working out who will bring what with that as our guiding theme.

    Best Christmas memory?
    I think we may make our best Christmas memories this year — it will be our first with both of our children and my oldest daughter Violet is nearly three so she’s the perfect age to begin to enjoy the magic of Christmas. I’m excited about Christmas for the first time in years.

  • 4

    Digital Publisher, Popsugar Australia

    Alison Rice

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. Pottery classes! I recently did my first pottery class and, as I suspected, it is my calling. I had so much fun and just felt very free for two whole hours. That was throwing, so now I need to book my trimming class…
    2. I am having a bit of a top issue – not enough or any of the right ones. I often find it hard to dress for work, as I can be in a boardroom in the morning and then at a fashion event in the evening. Hard life I know. This Equipment blouse from Net-a-Porter looks the goods.
    3. Any time I can get myself to Venustus, I’ll take it. I’ve been seeing Jeannie for a few years and my time with her and her therapists has really become such an important part of my emotional and mental wellbeing. We do a lot of healing work together, and also personal goal setting which has been hugely beneficial. So would love a Venustus voucher.

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    I am a hardcore, themed shopper. I like my gift giving to be original and personal. I get a real high off finding people the right gift.

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    My husband Tony and I have decided to stay home alone on Christmas Day. A bit selfish but ya gotta be in the years before kids, right?! I am going to theme a Christmas picnic to take to the beach. I’m also going to wear a red bikini. Yes, I’m going there!

    Best Christmas memory?
    Christmas Day in Bali, on the trip he proposed. We had a beautiful long lunch and just went so slow. Very different to Christmas here – whizzing around visiting family. Plus, no sober driver needed. 

  • 5

    Music Editor, Oyster

    Madeleine Woon

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. Gucci slides, because they are too pricey (for slides) and I’d never buy them myself, but I just want them.
    2. More swimmers, for almost the same reason and also because you can simply never have enough. This Matteau onepiece would be perf.
    3. An iPhone 7, because #communication is key.
    4. A good quality moisturiser and sunblock, kind of because of the Gucci logic and also because my skin is worth it.

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    Last minute, over spender.

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    Hanging with the fam in Port Macquarie, just having some sort of seafood spread and going to the beach.

    Best Christmas memory?
    Probs when I was 15, chilling with the fam at Crescent Head in a lil’ beach shack.

  • 6

    Director, Catinella PR

    Robyn Catinella

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. Le Labo Rose. It evokes my favourite memories and always has sentimental value, and everyone should have their own scent by 25.
    2. A new Canon — it’s an indulgence I don’t spend on myself
    3. A meditation course from The Broad Place, Jackie Lewis be the guru. And who doesn’t love a life changing gift!

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    Considered, I love the hunt for perfect gifts and will choose travel time over convenience

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    Spending it by the beach with family, immersing myself in saltwater and sun.

    Best Christmas memory?
    Waking up before the crack of dawn and watching the sun rise over the glassy lake of my parents remote village in Mexico, popping champagne and wake boarding before 6am.

  • 7

    Designer, Lucy Folk

    Lucy Folk

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. A massage — ’cause I will be so exhausted from Christmas trade and opening the new store in Sydney.
    2. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Loewe men’s fragrance — it’s incredible. I love it and want to smell tip top this Summer.
    3. Tickets to Nick Cave in Melbourne at the Myer Music Bowl. Too good to miss out on. I am a big Nick Cave fan. I am hoping someone is going to surprise me with these.
    4. A bottle of fine Mezcal for the festive season wouldn’t go astray either! Get some pep in your step!

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    Last minute… Although my presents are usually quite extravagant.  I do give lots of my jewels/ sunnies which seems like an obvious choice. They usually go down pretty well!

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    Going to Noosa.. yippee! Sun, surf, delicious Christmas Ham and Turkey… What more could one want!

    Best Christmas memory?
    Skiing in Austria on Christmas Day with my cousins. A white Christmas is pretty special. It’s the only Christmas I have had overseas. My Dad is Austrian so it was nice to be with the family over there and indulge Austrian style.

  • 8

    Beauty Editor, Byrdie

    Lisa Patulny

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. A Venustus massage voucher. I love so many of Venustus’ beauty products but their intuitive massages are unbelievable. Magic, even.
    2. I’ve wanted the jumbo Baies candle by Diptyque since forever — fingers crossed this is the year.
    3. I’m low-key obsessed with these versatile earrings from Aussie brand Natasha Schweitzer.
    4. Filling my apartment with lush greenery is all I care about right now. Domus Botanica is my favourite place to shop beautiful plants and pots.

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    The worst kind. The what-do-you-mean-it’s-Christmas-next-week kind. I wish I was more organised but I’m not. I accept that now. (And so does everyone on my gift list.)

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    Taking my new husband up the coast to meet my extended family. After that, the plan is to escape Sydney for a few days with our Italian greyhound and a couple of beach towels.

    Best Christmas memory?
    I don’t know if I have a favourite memory—is that bad? I’m very family-oriented (I’m a Cancer) so all I care about come Christmas time is having my favourite people in the same room.

  • 9

    Co-director, Aje

    Edwina Robinson

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. Shopping spree in Paris pre-Christmas.
    2. Delayed Christmas gift — May Meditation Retreat in India.
    3. Time away from email / phone / computer / civilisation.
    4. New Chanel 2.55 Bag — my current one has seen one too many adventures.

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    I am hopelessly frustrated shopping without clear direction. So for Christmas, I tend to be very decisive with the gifts I need to buy — I go specifically to the boutiques or websites I need to find them. I am a complete perfectionist with wrapping too and have an obsession with amazing gift boxes!

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    Spending time in Paris and the French countryside with my husband’s family before two weeks holidaying in Copenhagen, Rome and a romantic hideaway in Abruzzo, Italy near the Apennine Mountains.

    Best Christmas memory?
    Many of my favourite Christmas memories are from my childhood — frolicking with my brother and cousins amongst mounds of presents and the sprawling gardens of my Grandparents home in country NSW. However, spending recent Christmases with my love and our families are equally as poignant for their sentimentality and simplicity.

  • 10

    Photographer

    Bec Parsons

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. Diptyque philosykos fragrance, mine just ran out!
    2. David Band flower screen print from Olsen Irwin gallery.
    3. Black Saint Laurent high heels (classic shape).
    4. Beautiful ceramic pots for my plants.

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    I’m a very organised Christmas shopper, I like to start shopping early so I can give enough thought to everyone! I hate feeling stressed about Christmas!

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    We have Christmas with my husband’s Italian family in Melbourne, where I will continuously eat for a week straight and come home with my jeans not fitting and needing to do a juice fast! Ha!

    Best Christmas memory?
    My best Christmas memory would be waking up at 4am to find my Christmas stocking stuffer to the brim! I would empty the contents on my bed enjoy my presents then put them all back in and go back to sleep! I’m really excited about Christmas this year! My daughter has reinvigorated my Christmas spirit!

  • 11

    Designer, Natasha Schweitzer

    Natasha Chipman

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. Le Labo Santal 26 candle.
    2. Matteau bikini.
    3. A Natasha Schweitzer letter ring — I haven’t even got one yet!

    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    I alway shop at the last possible moment! I am shocking, but luckily very decisive so I can purchase gifts very quickly.

    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    Staying at my grandmother’s house on the beach, and relaxing with family and friends.

    Best Christmas memory?
    There are so many incredible memories, but probably the year we got our 11-year-old dachshund Roxy, we love her to bits.

  • 12

    Founder, Maison Balzac

    Elise Pioch Balzac

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    1. These Salvatore Ferragamo shoes that remind me of Elsa Schiaparelli and the early 1900s, which is such a rich and colourful era. (By the way I have already purchased them! I wore them last night!)
    2. Our Maison Balzac drinking glasses in pink, teal and clear because we all need some colourful glasses to drink cocktails in a back garden on a summer evening.
    3. A facial at Luna in Surry Hills (ex beauty therapist of Aesop, she is not only beautiful but has got a magical touch and relaxes your soul as well as your skin). $120 for 1 hour (she only offers 2 treatments).
    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    I am a last minute shopper, I think about it all year but somehow I always buy them on the 23rd of December. Wrapping is of utmost importance, I love finding ribbons, papers, flowers, trinkets and accessories to decorate the boxes.
    Best Christmas memory?
    In 2002 I was living in Paris and wasn’t going to get a chance to spend Christmas with my parents so instead, my dad booked a ticket for me to join them in Marie Galante (a tiny island in the Caribbean) but my mum didn’t know I was going. She was so surprised she cried of happiness! I will always remember that day.

  • 13

    Founder, Masini & Chern

    Ebonnie Masini

    What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
    I’m all for experiences so my top gifts would be… dinner at a winery, a massage/facial and a getaway. Preferably somewhere hot.
    What type of Christmas shopper are you?
    I LOVE buying gifts although Masini & Chern is super busy over Christmas so I’m usually rushing around doing my shopping at the last possible moment. I’ve learnt my lesson and this year I plan to have it done by December. Here’s hoping.
    What are you doing for xmas this year?
    I’m the family organiser (aka I take over everything). My husband and I usually hold Christmas at our house and we all sit in the backyard on a big table. I go all out with a huge centrepiece of flowers and we eat fresh seafood and drink Aperol Spritz. This year, we decided to do something different… We have 12 of us going to the Botanical in South Yarra for Christmas lunch. No one has to do a thing; we just rock up on the day. It’s very appealing.
    Best Christmas memory?
    My husband and I lived in London for a few years and spent one Christmas with our friends in the UK countryside. It snowed and it was the most festive Christmas we’ve ever had.