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It boggles the mind that Christmas is ‘round the corner once more, but as every meme on Instagram would have you think, thank goodness 2017 is almost over. Could we really handle another celebrity death or scandal anyway? Thankfully, happy times with family and friends are just around the corner. Christmas is the time for giving and receiving and eating so much food that your stomach hurts and occasionally shifting uncomfortably in your seat when your great uncle says something a bit racist or sexist. But what about the gifts? Truly, they are the most important thing about Christmas, right above bonding and creating happy memories. But at Local Supply we believe you can have it all, which is why our Christmas gift guide is all about practical things that will enhance your experiences and help you to create solid memories with your mates. From travel tools to community-oriented games, we list some of our favourite things to give and receive each Christmas, except for the booze, because, well, duh, of course that comes in handy when you’re trapped in a house with your family for 24 hours.
1. Gifts that encourage
Is your friend talented in a particular area, but they’ve never done anything with their skills? Or have they always dreamed of doing something, but never pursued it? Well, a gift can be an excellent opportunity to give them the nudge they might need. It might be a cooking class for the person who just loves to cook but always seems time-poor, or a sky-diving trip for the super adventurous friend who’s a little strapped for cash at the moment. A ‘one sentence a day’ notebook for that friend who’s always had some literary talent. A pair of hiking boots for that friend who’s always talking about climbing mountains. Think about a camera for that friend who’s got an eye for photography (this Canon Powershot G5x is a good place to start for an all ‘round good little camera) or wants to travel. Or, if you’re in the money (call us!) and this is someone super special to you, some flights for that friend or family-member who’s always dreamed of going to a certain place but never took the time. Seriously, my nan's never been to Melbourne and flights from Queensland are like $150.00 return. Easy!
2. Gifts for roaming
Outdoor Gear Lab voted these Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTXs the best hiking boots of 2017. For the friend who likes to roam (and face it, if you’re on the Local Supply blog right now — which you are — you probably have some friends who like to get around) there’s a bunch of different things that could come in handy. Luggage is always useful, a backpack seems boring but is always practical, some good stompers (check their size first or keep the receipt) are great for encouraging people out into the outdoors, and of course some sunnies always come in handy…
3. Gifts for remembering
With our ability to store endless images on instagram, Facebook, hard drives, and our phones, it’s easy to forget the simplicity of a treasured physical momento of a special time together. Why not have your favourite travel photo with a friend framed or something, or printed on a mug or whatever? Sounds cheesy as hell, but everytime your mate grabs a coffee in the morning, they’ll be greeted with a nice little memory of fun times (e.g. the time you mooned the sunrise from the top of Mount Warning, or is that just us?). Photo box (pictured) is a good cheap way to have photos printed on mugs, in books, and on phone covers. Just make it a good pic.
4. Gifts for kids
Buying for kids is the easy part. They’re happy with a cardboard box and some balled up wrapping paper! Or was that cats… Either way, you’re gonna look cheap if you turn up with a cardboard box for your mate’s kid, so you’ll want to get something a bit nicer. The best thing about kids is you can just ask their parents what they’ve been begging for. But if that's not a possibility, we think books are always a good way to go with kids — educational, fun, distracting, and increasingly rare in the iPad age — and everyone knows there ain’t no better kid’s books than pretty much anything by Roald Dahl (our favourite was Fantastic Mr Fox!).
5. Gifts for your best mate
Gifts for your best mate are either the easiest or the hardest, depending on how lucky you get. Sometimes, you come across the PERFECT thing that you know they’ll be obsessed with, and other times, you struggle to find anything that represents the depth of your knowledge and understanding of them. If you’re struggling, why not try something experiential that you can do together? There’s nothing more fun then heading down the coast, getting an Air BNB for the weekend with your mates, sinking a few tinies, and spending all weekend at the beach. You’ll probably need to take a portable speaker, and we recommend this JBL Flip4 for its surprisingly powerful sound.
6. Gifts for a colleague you don’t know too well
The toughest gift to buy of all — the gift for the colleague you just don’t know too well. Many a secret santa has ended in disappointment, not least because there’s usually a $20.00 maximum spend (and you don’t want to be the a-hole that makes everyone look bad by spending more). If you can’t think of anything that would be special to them, think of something that is special to you, like your favourite novel of all time, and tell them why it’s so important to you. You’ve instantly given them something personal, that means something, and if they actually read it, you’ll have something to talk about other than the weather. Boom! Secret Santa won. P.s. Our personal pick in this situation would be ‘Goodbye To Berlin’, which is short enough that anyone can read it without it being too much of a hassle, but also moving enough that you and your workmate can seriously bond over shedding a tear at the end.
7. Gifts for a LOL
There’s tonnes of fun games that are good for a LOL at any Christmas or dinner party. The Voting Game is one such game, where players are asked to vote on which of their assembled friends is best described by the question on the card. (e.g. “Who would show up to their high school reunion in a Lamborghini rental?”) We also love Cards Against Humanity (duh!) and Balderdash.
8. Gifts from overseas
It might not mean much to you, but bringing some small momento back from one of your trips abroad can mean a helluva lot to your family. That $10.00 snow globe you saw in Tokyo? Your nan’s gonna treasure it forever. That I <3 NYC t-shirt, that seems like such a cliche to you? Your sister will actually love it. (Actually, we wear our I <3 NYC t-shirt all the time, lol.) Luckily, if you forgot, you can always shop online — for example, this I <3 NYC shirt from Cafe Press. Seems a bit basic, but it could save your life and make someone feel like you give a damn about them. (Which, of course, you do.)
9. Gifts for everyone
Shameless plug alert! Obviously, we recommend a gift that combines all of the above things as the ultimate gift. A gift that encourages one to get outdoors. A gift for roaming. A gift that you can remember the good times when you’re wearing. A gift that kids can’t break (easily). A gift that you can give your best mate. A gift that even works for a colleague you don’t know too well. A gift that can even be a LOL when gifted to your mate that’s notorious for always dropping, loosing, or sitting on their sunnies. A gift that comes from overseas wherever you are (because we’re stocking in quite a few different countries). Yes, it’s a pair (or two, or three) of Local Supply’s amazing sunglasses, like the assortment pictured above. Not only are they bloody good-looking, they’re handy too. Polarised to protect your eyes, with snapback hinges for comfort, and tough enough that you can drop ‘em then put them back on. Is there any better gift? Is there a more shameless plug than this? The answer to both is: no way. The answer to whether you should gift all your friends and family with some excellent new sunnies? Yes way. Remember, Local Supply sunnies are for locals everywhere.