What’s stuffed in Santa’s stocking this year? We’ve rounded up some top presents that will hopefully delight even the pickiest people.
The Rail collection is all about a few things – design, sound, looks, comfort, and intelligence with Skull-iQ Smart Feature Technology®. We took them for a spin. Firstly they only come in back with transparent sections, along few choices of ear gels to get the perfect fit. They are super comfy, better than my Bose ones (though there is no voice cancelling). Voice controls mean I only need to say ‘Hey Skullcandy…, Spotify’ and it immediately goes to my app, plus I can say ‘next/back/stop’ all hands free. The Skull candy app is kicks off with a software upload. Then I complete a sound test (to check my hearing), it gives me control over any presents, taps and swipes. Clear Voice Smart Mic uses artificial intelligence and does a pretty good job at isolating my voice on calls and reducing background noise. The multipoint pairing worked a treat when I was watching Netflix on my ipad and had to quickly jump to my phone to answer it. The sound quality is solid from R&B heavy base, through to symphonic Adajio for Strings. It coped well with most sounds. The only thing missing to give it an all five star rating was no noise cancelling. Great app, so stylish, easy to wear and moderate. It’s a great go to buy in this price range. $169.99 from major retailers
Australian Botanical teas gift box
The Tea Centre has sourced native ingredients from around the country to create an Australian Botanical Tea range. From Bush Breakfast and Smoked Redgum to Alpine Sencha and Spiced Wattleseed, the teas celebrate the country’s unique flora. While you can buy the teas individually, a stunning gift is The Exploration Box which contains all nine loose-leaf teas so you can sample the full range. (Or if you want to dip your toe in the water first, there’s a taster box containing one sachet of each flavour).Australian Botanical Teas are available from The Tea Centre outlets (in NSW, QLD and ACT) or online, individual teas are $31, the taster box is $35 and The Exploration Box is $124.80.
Boronia Kitchen – Cookbook by Simon Sandall ex Aria
From mulitple awards and chefs hats at Aria to the suburb of Hunters Hill, and his restaurant Boronia Kitchen – Simon Sandall has made his mark on dining history with over two decades of experience in the industry. The book covers breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, cocktails and more. From scallop tartare with asparagus and squid ink tuiles (yep a bit daunting!) to green bean, celerry and walnut salad, the book is beautifully shot and for anyone wanting to ‘plate up’ with elegance and design, this one is for you. See here to buy $69.95
T2 Christmas Teas
T2 is flinging festive fruit and spices into a wonderful melange in its 2023 range of Christmas teas. Old favourite Christmas Breakfast returns, with its spicy ginger and nutmeg, joined by newcomers Pear & Butterscotch, Blackberry Soufflé, Plum Cobbler and Grapefruit Granita ($18-$32). There’s also Mango Blooms, a beautiful flowering black tea with mango, rose, marigold and jasmine, for which you’ll want to splash out on a glass teapot so you can see the blossoms unfurl.
As well as the new range there are gift packs containing teawares and many favourite flavours. If you can’t wait until 25th December, T2 also has new advent calendars including a new Tea Party Extravaganza Luxury Advent Calendar ($350) packed with best-selling and limited-edition tea and teawares. T2 teas are available in T2 outlets across Australia .
Catan Board Game
Trade, build and settle on the isle of Catan. Take the challenge see if you can trade or build your way to victory. But beware! Someone might cut off your road or buy a monopoly. And you never know when the wily robber might steal some of your precious games!
Fundamentally a family friendly strategy game, you are able to use resource combinations of grain, wool, ore, brick and wood to buy development cards to build roads, settlements and cities. This is a simple game, that takes moments to learn – but has enough strategies and tactics that mean a different game every time. A solid game for kids and adults and takes about an hour to play. Available at most stores and specialty game stores.
Chameleon Board Game
Who’s the biggest liar in your family? Find our with Chameleon board game, where you have to find the person who doesn’t really know what’s going on – but is pretending. Your job is to find out who is the Chameleon, or blend in if you happen to be the Chameleon.
Like all good board games for families, it takes 2 minutes to learn and only 15 minutes to play. Recommended for 3-8 players and ages 14+. A great game for large groups. Available from all good stores and specialty game shops.
Fever Tree Christmas Mixer Crackers/Bon Bons
No one is going to forget to pull their Xmas bon bon this year. What a good looking package. Fever-Tree, have released Christmas crackers to get the party going with a bang. It is a selection of four 150ml cans of Fever-Tree and four 50ml miniature spirit bottles, including; Fever-Tree Premium Soda Water paired with Grey Goose Vodka, Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic paired with Four Pillars Blood Shiraz Gin, Fever-Tree Mexican Lime Soda paired with Espolon Reposado and Fever-Tree Dry Ginger Ale paired with Chivas XV. No jokes needed. Though laughter does follow. We love them. Participating David Jones stores and online RRP $65
Self Care Lovers
Kenzako body products
The AHA BODY RESET is a TikTok sensation. So we took it for a whirl in our shower. It is super silky with liquid shea which acts as a moisturiser and anti-irritant. Citric Acid also helps to exfoliate the upper layer of dead skin cells to help clean pores, even skin tone and soften and smooth the skin. I loved how soft, fluffy it was and so smooth to use, with a nice citrusy aroma. The scrub dials it up! It comes in a 100% recyclable and biodegradable pouch, including the cap. It is a vegan body scrub which is free from micro plastic beads. The pumice worked well to get rid of flaky patches and smooth my skin. We also like that it is eco certified and Australian made. Check out the range here
The Kind Collective
We love B Corp registered ‘The KIND Collective’ mission – kind to the earth, people, planet and us! We tried the iconic Miracle Glo Serum in their new shade, Champagne which comes in a cute new Miracle Glo Kit limited edition with a complexion stick and high definition lip gloss. Softly shimmering without too much Disney sparkle! The just launched Hydrating Lip and Cheek Tint with Hyaluronic Acid, comes in two shades, and is perfect to pop in our handbag for a night out. We tried their new Eyeshadow Palettes with Purpose (ours was 18 pan) though it goes up to a whopping 26 pan colourways. Perfect for the ‘nude to evening’ look with soft neautrals and some glistening palette colours. See more for gifting kis here.
Steph Pase lunch bag
Perfect for keeping the salad crips and drinks cool on a hot day, Steph Pase’s new Luxe lunch bags come in black, blush and beige and are spacious enough to fit all your lunchtime essentials, including drink bottles. Made from vegan leather, the bags also feature five internal pockets for holding ice bricks in place or storage for small snacks. Grab your stylish lunch bag – they’re priced at $79.95 – here.
Steph Pase Daily Planners
For those that love organising or those that need to organise better, the incredibly comprehensive and beautiful daily planners from Steph Pase are perfect gifts. Incredibly high quality, with pages for daily tasks, goals, shopping lists, astrology and more – there is no way you giftee or yourself will be able to not be organised this 2024. There’s also a quiz to determine which planner will suit best! Take the quiz here. Arrives boxed for maximum gifting impact. $79.95 available here
Circa Hand Wash & Hand Cream
Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. You know the candles by now, and Circa the team that brings you some of the best home scents, have launched this hand care range. The pear and lime smells fabulous, and feels wonderful on the skin. A perfect accoutrement to a bathroom or kitchen, for a little bit of daily luxury, while impressing family and friends. The set comes with a stunning ceramic tray for the hand wash and hand cream. $64.95 Available here.
Mermade Air Curler
Want the beach wave, barbie curl or full ringlet? Then this tool is a time saving piece of genius gadget that blow dries and curls at the same time. The current process often looks like blow dry, straighten and then curl. So annoying. The Mermade Air Curl using the power of a hairdryer with the exacting style of a curling iron. A fast and effective way to get the curls you’ve been chasing. Currently on sale at $74.95 available here.
Anastasia Lip Gloss
A perfect stocking filler, Anastasia – Beverly Hills produces fashionable, luxe, make-up in an array of colours. The lip glosses deliver a glossy, reflective cover with high shine, perfect for summer days and long nights. $33.00 available here
Kenzina Hydrating Eye and Lip Masks
The best packaging for a gift. The lip hydrating masks arrive in a very cute lip container. The eye masks in a chic pot. Designed to soften fine lines through hydration, in just 20 mins you can have soft lips and hydrated under eye area. These are all cruelty free, alcohol, paraben and sulphate free. You can pick up the bundle of 30 eye masks and 20 lip masks for $100 here.
Hair care is a perfect gift and Hairification is an accessible brand with high quality product and simplistically modern packaging design. Feed your scalp a super-concentrated shot of energising actives that works around the clock to thicken, lengthen and strengthen! Used alongside Pure Grow Shampoo & Pure Grow Conditioner, it’s the ultimate triple treatment. $20 available here.
Cetaphil – Bright Healthy Radiance range
Your favourite every day PH balanced skin care range, Cetaphil, is branching out and has developed a range of skin brightening solutions for sensitive skin. Between the cleanser, serum, comfort cream and protection cream you have a full set of skin care that is proven to be effective. The feel of these products suggests you’ve paid much more for them and easily compete with much, much more expensive products. Results are seen quickly and will make a lovely gift for anyone who wants to look more radiant (including those with sensitive skin). Serum $42.49 available here.
Merry Christmas – Fur Babies
Oscar & Friends
From toys, leads, collars, grooming and even seat belts. Oscar has our fur babies of all shapes and sizes covered at really good prices. The delivery driver handed over my package to me at my front door, which of course I had to feel, then it squeeked and Maggie the greyhound was almost frothing at the mouth with excitement. First reveal the donut, then her favourite the crocodile! Rigby the chocolate lab has been testing out her beautiful new teal strip lead and collar and it gets the woofs thumbs up. Find the range at Woolies, Big W and more!
Melbourne-based, Dog Yog, has teamed up with the world’s most famous beagle, Snoopy, to create a range of products for our fur babies. What a smart idea! – A licky mat with suckers on the bottom so overly enthusiastic lickers don’t end up chasing the mat around the floor. It’s perfectly paired with a super berry powder-swirled 100% peanut butter which our two greyhound testers give the ‘paws up’ rating ($15 a pot). There are an additional two dog ice cream flavours, Apple Pie and Birthday Cake which we haven’t tested but they look great! Buy here at DogYog
FjallRaven – High Coast Hip Pocket
Award winning Swedish brand Fjällräven produces innovative and design led products loved by outdoor enthusiasts across the world. The High Cost Hip Pack is the ultimate bum bag for dog lovers! You could use it for hiking or travel. However going walkies means, poo bags, treats, headphones, phone, keys and even a squeeky toy or more. First of all it’s waterproof, 100% recycled nylon. The back has a security pocket and ventilating mesh and inside there is a zippered main compartment has an open pocket and key clip. It’s got multiple areas to pop everything in and I used the front section for treats so my phone doesn’t get covered in doganossi. $84.99 buy here.