ladies hands tying up a bunch of hand picked flowers

The gift of giving – without the expenses!

‘Tis the season to be jolly! But how can you remain jolly when the gift-giving season asks way more than you bargained for – or should we say ‘budgeted’ for.

Christmas can be a pretty expensive time when you’re “expected” to have a gift for every one of your many family members, best friends, office mum, your sister’s dog, and that elderly neighbour who likes to re-gift you self-saucing Christmas puddings they bought from last year’s boxing day sale – every. single. year.  Pass the pudding…

What’s more frustrating is wondering if that novelty Dad of the year trophy is going to be a big waste of your smackeroonies and will just collect dust on the shelf above his desk.

To help save your pockets we’ve put together a list of free (and kinda free) gift ideas that require a little bit of thought, care, and creativity – because sometimes the thought really does count!

Get Crafty

Get your right brain working and create something that will flex your creativity skills. Instead of some cheesy wall-art for your friend, why not try painting a cute garden pot for their next succulent, or a pair of hand-made earrings?!#upcycle it’s good on so many levels! To our crochet and knitting queens… we know this task has your name on it! New beanie, please!

Flex your green thumb

After the amazing rainfall and Spring season we’ve just had no doubt just about every green-thumb has a veggie patch to rave about. But have you ever thought about gifting some of your produce? Imagine how excited your foodie friend would be if you gave them a basket of the best seasonal produce!

While we are on the topic…

Another great gift idea from your garden could be a hand picket bouquet of flowers, a succulent you’ve propagated, or a bulb from your garden or cheap local nursery. These gifts are great for beginner and advanced gardeners alike.

Or next level – combine the crafty with the green! 👀


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All I want for Xmas is food!

Give the gift of food this season! Upcycle some old jars or buy some from your local second-hand shop (if you have a few pennies to spare) and fill them with dry ingredients for recipes like oatmeal, cookies, hot chocolate, etc. We’ve found some awesome mason jar idea here. We love dried oranges and gingerbread, just saying…

Create a cookbook

With all those amazing veggies, or mason jars ready to gift, you could also include some of your favourite recipes to go with the gifts for your friends and family to try. We’ve even got a few recipe ideas here for you.


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Give an experience

Create some memories by offering your time. This can be through cooking a homemade meal or taking them out for a picnic. There are some amazing locations around the New England, or where ever you are located that you can go explore with your loved one.

For those who like to keep it urban, go and immerse yourself in the local culture around you! Try a local art gallery or museum.

For those unsure of what’s on offer in the Armidale region, we’ve got a list of natural wonders, and local cultural sites to visit here.

2021 Mixtape

Okay so no, we don’t mean doing an old school cassette mixtape – but one with a 21st century touch. Creating a custom playlist on your Spotify or Apple music you can share with songs that remind you of good times with them, their favourite movie soundtracks, and inside jokes. Or, you can even burn a CD (yes, like old times) for your friend whose AUX doesn’t work in their car.

Did someone say board games?!

A DIY board game could be perfect to play after you’ve all enjoyed countless amounts of Chrissy ham. Family trivia is our top pick for a DIY boardgame… can everyone remember what name your brother called his first teddy, or which boy band you had plastered all over your bedroom walls?

Exchange your best book!

A great way to upcycle books on your shelf is to re-gift them! Grab your favourite book (or one you’ve really enjoyed) and exchange it with one from your friend or family member’s collection. It’s a great and sustainable way to expand your genre and reading list.


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For the coffee addicts…

Those coffee grounds you tip into the bin every morning can actually be used for some amazing sustainable gifts! Create a rejuvenating coffee scrub for them to enjoy or make a yummy dry rub for your mason jar recipe packs. Some ideas on how to use coffee grinds for gifts is in our blog here.


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Our list is not exhaustive, but we hope we’ve given a few cracking ideas or inspiration for your gift-giving this season!

For those who are also looking to include a store-bought gift – we highly recommend buying local. The Shop has a variety of local and sustainable products for every member in the family. They’re located opposite Lazenby Hall in the Ingrid Moses courtyard.