Christmas Present Ideas 2017

As tradition demands, here is my annual list of present ideas, to help you if you're stuck.

  • Pierre the Maze Detective seems like a very cool book for puzzle-minded kids.  I sort of want it myself.  
  • This wooden tool set or this wooden doctor set.
  • Buffalo Zine is a weird London fashion magazine that won Stack's magazine of the year.
  • Dot is a rad magazine for kids.
  • Home made fancy granola in jars. Dried cranberries make it sweet and festive. Here's a template recipe to customise to suit your taste. We've used it many times, and it works great.
  • Home made lime simple syrup (for mixing into cocktails, or serving with iced soda water). You could buy a bunch of those little bottles you find in hotel minibars. That way, a single batch could be distributed among many bottles, and then many stockings.
  • Alternatively, you can buy really nice syrups, tonics, and bitters from Only Bitters online store.
  • This children's market basket . We have one, and Po loves wheeling it about, full of vegetables, at the markets on an early Saturday morning.
  • Art by my sisters, Mondocherry.
  • I think a child would like custom stickers - maybe with their name, or initials, or something. That would be easy and fun to do at Moo.com.
  • Here are some card games that are fun for the whole family: Port Royal, Sushi Go, Hanabi, Coup
  • Tickets to a comedy show.
  • A gaming mouse or keyboard, if that's what they're into.
  • Juggling balls or clubs.  I like stage balls, but they’re more difficult for beginners. Scarves are good for kids.  They’re very easy, and would fit in a stocking.
  • I love cookbooks. The ones I covet at the moment are: Sweet, Honey & Co, and Supernormal
  • If you gave someone a cookbook, you could add some fancy pantry spices, or rose water, or pomegranate molasses - whatever the particular recipes require that the person doesn't have.
  • Raspberry Pi has been a round a while now, but keeps getting better. It's is a sort of tiny computer that you have to program yourself. It would be a great present for a budding computer scientist or programmer.
  • Monocle Guide to Good Business. This is sort of a crossover between business-lit and a coffee table book.
  • Circuit Cubes are designed by STEM teachers and interoperable with Lego.  They do cool things, and teach kids about electricity.  Similarly, the "make your own controllers" by Makey Makey, or Little Bits.  Actually, yeah - I'd  go with Little Bits.
  • Kettle bell, rock climbing shoes, pouch to store keys/phone in while running, ballet shoes, new shiny cricket ball, frisbee, etc.
  • Do they go to the cinema on Boxing Day? That's a tradition for some folks. If so, you could make them the ultimate cinema snack pack. I don't know - jarritos, pretzels, chocolate almonds - whatever weird things they like.
  • Microphone. This Rode smartLav+ mic would be good if they want to get into podcasting or making videos for something.
  • An overnight travel bag.
  • A playlist of your favourite podcasts. A mixtape for the 21st century. (Free!) This could make a good mail-out gift to lots of people?
  • A fruit plant. Passionfruit vine? Dwarf lemon, lime, or mandy trees?
  • Subscription to the NYT crossword puzzle app for ipads and wotnot.
  • Fancy sunscreen would make a nice stocking filler for the summer.
  • If they're sort of a lefty, or just like good journalism, they'd probably like a subscription to the Monthly.
  • Straws are nice for smoothies and milkshakes, and fit in a stocking.
  • Voucher to play an escape room. I recently enjoyed the new Quest Escape rooms in South Brisbane.
  • A portrait camera lens.
  • Fancy-ass stationary
  • Olive oil / balsamic vinegar.
  • A cheap laminator from Office Works.  Preserves kids drawings, makes things waterproof, can be used to make fun card games for kids, etc.  
  • Tactile memory game for kids. Briohny found this.  Very cool, although the price to ship it here from the States is sort of ridiculous.
  • Similarly, these beautiful wooden play dough stampers.
  • A new office desk chair, or a second monitor for sweet dual screen efficiency.
  • A box to organise their precious things, whatever those are. E.g. a better tool box, an antique sewing box, a box with lots of little drawers to sort different kinds of small things, etc.
  • A tripod. Maybe they want a mini one like this, or a bigger one like this.  I have both of those, and they're both useful.
  • A young child needs these books: Ava Twist, Scientist, Rosie Revere, Engineer
  • Earphones. I get through at least 12 pairs of cheap earphones a year. Maybe I should stop listening to podcasts while I sleep.
  • A wall map of the world.
  • James Acaster's Classic Scrapes was the funniest book I've read this year. If they're into British comedy panel shows, they'll know James, and will like this.
  • Along the same lines, I haven’t read, but would like to read, Joe Lycett’s Parsnips Buttered.
  • Inflatable pool toys.
  • If they have a Pinterest account, stalk their pins, and get something that you find.  Pinterst, it seems to me, is more or less a ‘wish list’
  • Seeds. Maybe sugar snap peas? Or cherry tomatoes?
  • We really like Jericho wines - especially the Tempranillo, which is delicious for about 20 bucks.
  • This 17yr old kid will make a social-media-avatar of someone for $6.60. You send him the photo; he'll make it a cartoon.