The best Christmas gifts to give in 2023 – Sydney Morning Herald

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By Lauren Ironmonger and Abby Seaman
Credit: Aresna Villaneuva
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For some, gifting is a chore. For others, it’s a sport. Wherever you sit on the Christmas gift-giving spectrum, we’ve done the hard work for you and found the best presents for every type of person – from the fitness-obsessed to the beauty lover.
Cargo Crew apron

Melbourne-based brand Cargo Crew have been outfitting Australian chefs like Curtis Stone and Josh Niland for years, and are perfect for the serious home cook. Their new Conscious Collection features aprons made from repurposed fabric scraps and recycled polyester that breathes new life into at least four plastic bottles ($29 to $69). Choose between three strap options and a wide range of colours, and best of all, personalise your gift with their embroidery service ($12).
Million Wines Impressionist Sensory Pack

Do they fancy themselves something of a sommelier? The Impressionist Sensory Pack ($120) from South Australia’s Million Wines features four bottles of the vineyard’s award-winning drops. Ideal for a picnic or weekend away, the pack includes a virtual reality headset with 360-degree views of the winery, tasting note activity, varietal guides and curated Spotify playlist for the full experience. It also comes with an illustrated tea towel with food pairing recommendations.
Food for Everyone print

Melbourne’s Food for Everyone collaborates with Australian chefs, cooks and restaurateurs to turn their most beloved recipes into art. Think Gelato Messina’s Pistachio Praline or Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s handmade tiramisu. All posters are limited edition, and printed on quality paper made purely from recycled cardboard coffee cups (from $85, frames from $90). Plus, for each poster sold, Food for Everyone donates the equivalent of 10 meals to Second Bite.
Goldi Power Couple bundle

Goldi’s award-winning extra virgin olive oil has been grown and cold pressed in South Australia for over a decade. Passionate home cooks will appreciate their delicious olive oil – a far cry from most supermarket varieties – that adds flavour, not just fat, to everything they make. While they offer subscriptions, we’d recommend going with their Power Couple bundle ($40) that will allow the recipient to sample Goldi’s two olive oil varieties.
Donabe from My Cookware Australia

A donabe is a clay pot that has been used for centuries in Japanese home kitchens. Used for everything from rice, to stews and steamed vegetables, they’re elegant vessels favoured for their ability to yield consistent, gentle heat. This Tojiki Tonya donabe ($189) is glazed in a beautiful soft grey, but there is a range of styles and sizes available in Australia, including single-serving pots for those who live alone.
Kilderkin Distillery Original Larrikin Gin

If they’re serious about their gin and tonics, Kilderkin Distillery’s Original Larrikin Gin ($80) makes the perfect gift. This small batch distillery in Ballarat has been making quality spirits for almost a decade, and their Original Larikin is their signature. It’s a well-balanced gin with notes of lemon myrtle, spice and native botanicals.
Jimoto Foods Izayaka gift box

Jimoto foods was founded by two Aussie chefs who had been working side by side in Japanese restaurants for years. The company makes delicious condiments and seasonings for dedicated home cooks, or for those who want to add a little zing to a lazy weeknight meal. Their Izayaka gift box ($46) includes their bestselling teriyaki sauce, infused with Sydney-grown shiso leaf, an umami rich miso hot sauce and a fresh yuzu and chilli dressing perfect for barbecued meat and summer salads.
Bread Hair Supply hair-oil everyday gloss

Embrace the curly-haired people in your life and add a little spring to their step with Bread Hair Supply, hair care for people with textured hair. You can’t go wrong with their most popular Hair-Oil Everyday Gloss ($39).
Raaie AM/PM set

New Zealand skincare brand Raaie’s philosophy is to protect the skin during the day and repair it at night. This AM/PM duo set ($274) does just that. Use the Morning Dew Vitamin C serum to start the day and the Yellow Moonbeam Retinal Elixir before bed.
Tsu Lange Yor eau de parfum TLY 5755

Local legend Troye Sivan has been busy this year filming a TV show, releasing an album and creating his own home and personal fragrance line Tsu Lange Yor. The brand’s signature eau de parfum TLY 5755 ($230, 50ml) is inspired by Australian natives with notes of sandalwood, mountain pepper and vetiver.
Ilio Nema ariane xania stripe kimono robe

Help someone you know relax in style wearing this versatile robe from Ilio Nema. The Ariane Xania stripe kimono robe ($395) can be used as a beach or pool cover-up, fresh out of the shower and cute enough to wear as a light jacket.
Dyson airwrap multi-styler

If you’re feeling generous this year give the gift of hairstyling without the heat damage with the Dyson Airwrap multi-styler ($949) in a seasonal blue colourway. The complete style comes with six head attachments for a salon finish blow-out.
NICO organic hipster briefs and underwire bra

It’s the thought that counts and NICO puts a lot of thought into creating high-quality intimates. Their comfortable, everyday bras, undies and leisurewear are made from sustainable and plant-dyed organic cotton. Our pick is their organic hipster briefs ($42) and organic underwire bra ($94) in the colour lilac.
Kester Black nail polish

Santa-claws is coming to town. Gift them a fresh manicure this holiday season with cruelty-free and salon-quality nail polish from Kester Black. With a catalogue of colours to choose best-selling colours include Rouge ($28) a trendy cherry red and Babe ($28) for an understated pale pink.
Go-To x Alemais Perfect Present

The Go-To x Alemais collaboration is the stylishly wrapped gift that keeps on giving. The skincare brand and fashion label has created a range of skincare gift sets for every skincare concern. If you are unsure of your giftee’s skin type you can’t go wrong with the aptly named Perfect Present, which includes a sheet mask and hand cream ($32).
Købn towel

Who doesn’t love a nice beach towel? This one ($110) from Australian lifestyle brand Købn is inspired by the vibrant colours of Marrakech with a citrus yellow base and walnut, blush and caramel stripes. Made in Turkey, the soft cotton towel strikes the perfect balance between the lightness of a Turkish towel and the thick comfort of a traditional one.
Shore Club swim shorts

Gift the beach bum in your life a slick new pair of swimming trunks. Shore Club’s version ($89.95) are crafted from UV 50+ water repellant material with a mid-length cut and internal mesh briefs. This hunter green pair feature a geometric print reminiscent of vintage designs. Plus they’re smart enough no one will bat an eye if they’re worn to the tennis club or local café.
STUFF Skincare Starter set

If he’s still using his 3-in-1 to wash his face, get him started on a skincare routine with this kit from Australian brand STUFF ($75). The bundle provides everything he’ll need for a simple regimen – face wash, exfoliating scrub and daily moisturiser – and comes with a great toiletries bag for travel. All products are alcohol- and fragrance-free, making them suitable for all skin types.
Dresden sunglasses

Dresden’s sunglasses ($75) are made in Australia from 100 per cent recycled or recyclable materials – meaning fewer carbon emissions and less landfill. They’re nothing flashy, just good, simple frames that come in a wide range of colours. The modular design means arms can be mixed and matched as they please, and a 10-year warranty guarantees longevity.
Printworks The Art of Chess set

For the puzzle master in your life, Printworks’ special edition of their Art of Chess set ($99.95) has a dreamy lacquered board inspired by the cloud motifs in René Magritte’s paintings. It comes packaged in a beautiful box enveloped in high-quality art paper with a cloud motif and foil stamp, so even when it’s sitting on a shelf, it’s a statement piece in itself.
All Trails subscription

Help the bushwalking lover in your life discover more with an AllTrails+ subscription. The app gives hikers access to thousands of curated trails, which they can track as they go – and write a review for fellow hikers once they’ve finished. A paid subscription to the app ($35.99/year) offers extra features including offline maps, wrong-turn notifications and the ability to keep friends and family informed. AllTrails covers routes all around the world, so they’ll be able to take it wherever they go.
Janji Multipass Sling Bag

Figuring out where to put your stuff (phone, keys, snacks) is an eternal dilemma for runners. Janji’s Multipass Sling Bag ($77.95) offers a solution to this problem with a whopping two-litre capacity, despite its compact design. The bag can be worn as a bum bag or across the body, has a snug fit and is crafted from a lightweight and water repellant material.
Kathmandu x Jason Woodside beach shelter

If this past spring is anything to go by, we’re in for a hot summer. A beach shelter offers welcome reprieve from brutal summer rays. Kathamandu’s version ($119.98) has an extendable floor mat, internal pockets for stashing valuables and offers 95 per cent + UV protection. Produced in collaboration with Kiwi artist Jason Woodside, the colourful design makes it easy to spot in a crowd.
Gentle Habits Immersion Underwater bundle

Gentle Habits’ Immersion Underwater bundle offers a stylish twist on snorkelling gear ($169). Available in multiple colourways, including this pink and khaki set, each kit includes a dive mask, snorkel and fins for all their underwater adventures this summer. $1 from every set sold goes to mental health charity Speak & Share.
Shokz OpenRun earbuds

Perfect for runners and cyclists, Shokz’s OpenRun headset ($219) combines a high-quality audio experience with safety. Their bone conduction technology uses vibrations to warn the user of traffic without interrupting the listening experience. Water and sweat resistant, their quick charge feature means you only need 10 minutes to level up to 1.5 hours of listening time.
The Mondri Vase, MOMA

The minimalist in your life will appreciate this gorgeous ode to Piet Mondrian, a founding member of the pioneering De Stijl art movement. The Mondri Mondrian vase ($180) can be configured in various ways (it’s three vases in one), allowing for an element of play and creativity. It’s a piece of art in its own right that doesn’t need flowers to appear complete.
WellRead subscription

If they love books but are plagued by chronic indecision, take the guesswork out of reading for them with a subscription to WellRead (from $36). Each month, the Australian company hand-picks the best new releases in local and international publishing. Each book comes with reading notes for a richer reading experience, and they even have a Facebook group where bookworms can discuss the latest delivery.
Membership to a local art gallery or museum
The new wing of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.Credit: Nick Moir
What better gift for the art lover in your life than, well, art? Sure, they won’t actually own the art, but a membership to their local gallery or museum gives them access to thousands of paintings, sculptures and immersive experiences whenever the mood strikes. There are many membership options around, at various price points, but some include:
Vincent Namatjira book

Vincent Namatjira is one of Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous artists. This new tome ($90) beautifully catalogues Namatjira’s most important works, including his portrait series on the royal family, politicians and Indigenous soldiers. His paintings are accompanied by essays from prominent Australian artists and critics, including Ben Quilty and NGA curator Bruce Johnson McLean.
Pixxie Pocket Projector

The Pixxie Pro Pocket Projector ($899) allows them to experience the full cinema experience wherever they are. The lightweight projector features a delightfully retro design, and can accommodate a surface of up to 300 inches. It comes preloaded with a library of streaming apps, including Netflix, Spotify and Disney+, or can be hooked up to any laptop, phone or gaming console.
MUBI subscription

Film lovers will appreciate a subscription to Mubi (from $37.99), an online streaming platform that specialises in arthouse cinema. Each month, a dedicated group of experts curates the platform’s offerings, so you’re always getting the best of the best, from daring new releases to cult classics. Most of the films can’t be found on other platforms, so you know they’ll be getting something extra special.
Two Good Co. The Starter Cook Kit

Two Good Co. is an Australian business that supports programs for women who have experienced homelessness or domestic violence. Their Starter Cook Kit ($95) is perfect for beginner cooks. The bundle includes their Change the Course cookbook that features short recipes with simple ingredients, as well as a Blackbutt Hardwood cutting board designed and produced by a flood-affected business in Lismore.
Monty Compost Co. Monty Monitor

Whether they’re a steadfast composter or just getting into the game, Monty Compost Co.’s Australian-made compost monitor (currently on sale, $199) will be a handy addition to their heap. The clever device audits your compost in real time, sending tailored advice and recommendations to help you create the most nutrient-rich compost possible.
House of Darwin Barra cap

The Barra cap ($49.95) from House of Darwin is the perfect gift for fishing fanatics or those simply wanting to stay sun safe in style this summer. The social enterprise is a for-profit company that partners with grassroots organisations that support remote Indigenous communities.
Waverley Mills Terrain Throw Bay of Fires

Waverley Mills have been crafting fine Aussie textiles for 150 years. Their gorgeous Terrain Throw ($279) pays tributes to the rich hues of Tasmania’s Bay of Fires and is perfect for chilly evening walks or fireside lounging. It’s also crafted from a blend of pure and recycled wool, saved from offcuts on their factory floor.
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