Birthday gift

The gift for the person who wants “nothing”


There’s always that one person who when asked what they would like for Christmas or their birthday responds with “Nothing”. They may buy everything that they need as they want it or they just genuinely don’t want more “stuff”.

Chances are they are the last ones on your shopping list because they have given you no clue as to what to get them on Christmas Day. You might procrastinate and then end up buying chocolates, a gift card or something very generic.

This year instead of procrastinating buy something on their behalf from Good Gifts which has been set up to change people’s lives, “one gift at a time”. Based in the UK, Good Gifts has a huge selection of gift ideas for people who really need help. 

Choose from a drought survival kit to assist farmers in drought affected areas or a bamboo bike to help the midwives in Africa make their house calls. 

The website has been neatly set up and offers different collections including Gifts for Romantics, Gifts for Foodies, Gifts for Entrepreneurs - even Gifts for Knitters!

You will need the ability to pay online with a credit card but there is a variety of gifts in different price ranges. Good Gifts stand by their commitments “that every Good Gift was always wanted… and when you buy a Good Gift, your money buys the actual gift”, so give them a go today!

Christmas gift ideas

5 awesome shops to check out in Mackay


It’s under 2 weeks out from Christmas… have you got all your gifts sorted? The last couple of weeks can be daunting if you need to hit the major shopping centres, so here are a couple of suggestions you could try around the Mackay area and hopefully tick off the last of your Christmas Shopping.

Stocked with a large range of different clothing brands and accessories, i.d Dezine is a great shop for those fashionistas in your life who want to stand out from the crowd and not be like anyone else. Divine clothing for ladies, men and now children, add in some elegant jewellery and shoes and then check out the gifts ideas for the home including stunning candles, diffusers. Check out these amazing cufflinks

A relatively new business to Mackay, Goanna Brewing is located at Paget - nowhere near the shopping centre car parking dramas. If that someone special in your life is thinking about (or even likes) brewing beer then a gift voucher for this “beer lovers club” might be the way to get them started. Vouchers start at $30.

Located in the City Heart, Let the Children Play is like a wonderland for kids with a huge selection of toys designed to stimulate imaginations. Ally, the lovely owner of this toy shop is helpful and knows her stuff (she is a teacher with over 20 years of experience). Their online shop is also worth a look.

Now located at Parkside Plaza, Gypsy and the Bowerbird is a haven for pretty things. They keep up with the latest trends in fashion and décor and stock locally made products (including Stomping Elephant earrings – so cute). The ladies at Gypsy are more than willing to give you a hand to help choose a lovely gift too!

The range of trees, shrubs, flowering plants and herbs at Annie’s Nursery is huge and they only stock what they know will grow! Don’t want to try and keep a plant alive for 2 weeks before Christmas? There is also a great display of garden ornaments and statues to suit all styles of gardens. And for that hard to buy little person – get them interested in gardening with a fairy garden. Annie’s has a gorgeous collection of items to get them started.

Hopefully you will consider dropping in to these locally owned and operated businesses for your last minute (or even all!) gift ideas. You can avoid the traffic congestion around the shopping centres, find something unique and support local – bonus! Drop us a line at if there are any others you can recommend.

*The Gift Assistant is not affiliated with these businesses.

Christmas gift ideas

The best present for the Nutella lover


So the best present for the Nutella lover would have to be a jar of Nutella, no? Well, over the weekend I stumbled upon what I reckon would have to be even better than just a jar of Nutella… a 750gram personalised jar of Nutella! 

For under $15 this promo through Myer is a pretty awesome gift idea for kids, adults or Secret Santa. Pair it up with a Nutella Recipe book and that is one extra special gift with a minimal amount of fuss.

Get in quick to Myer (or get online to arrange Click & Collect) to order your Nutella lover’s jar in time for Christmas.

Christmas gift ideas

Why Matt Preston and I might butt heads


Believe it or not it has nothing to do with his cravats. His differentiating neck accessory might be quirky but not butting heads-worthy.

No, Matt Preston and I might butt heads about his piece in Stella magazine two weekends ago where he outlined his ideas on kitchen gifts for Christmas.

I’m a self-confessed gadget collector. I love kitchen accessories and equipment and have a large collection of used and unused items that I have purchased (or been gifted) so I read with interest as to what Matt Preston, cravat-wearing, MasterChef judge suggested for this gift giving season.

His first suggestion that a wooden spoon would seem to be “on the surface a perfect present” left me with a look of disbelief on my face. I am not sure anyone would consider a wooden spoon a “perfect” give even if the gift giver was on a tight budget. 

And the alternative suggestion thrown up by Mr Preston? A $10 silicone spatula. Really Matt? A spatula? Silicone or not, personally I would be tempted to slap anyone with it if that was wrapped ready and waiting under the tree on Christmas morning.

I’ll give him credit that a prawn deveiner might be a waste of money but what authority (besides being a MasterChef judge and food critic) does he have to say “stuffed zucchini will NOT be the next big thing?”. I happen to be a fan of stuffed zucchini and can’t wait to see a future MasterChef contestant step up and blitz the competition with a fabulous version creating a new food trend #stuffedzucchiniisawesome

Matt’s advice on not giving a “clumsy cook” a mandolin is not without merit as a trip to Accident & Emergency in the New Year is not cool – kitchen gadget related or not. And I will concede that his suggestions of a decent peeler or even the gravy separator are good ideas for the home cook – anything to make those mundane chores a bit easier is a bonus.

But I draw the line (and even scoffed) at the idea that “presents with plugs on them are seldom embraced by the woman you love”. Of course it’s never a good idea to buy an iron, vacuum cleaner or steam mop – that should go without saying. There are stacks of gifts with plugs that the home cook (or wannabe chef) might enjoy, especially if they wouldn’t buy them for themselves.

The KitchenAid with multiple attachments and Thermomix are definitely high end items but both can replace multiple appliances. A lovely coffee machine, juicer or food processor are also great additions. The key is to listen and see what your giftee is interested in but thinks twice about buying. Just make sure it isn’t because they already have one!

Ok, so I’ve trashed Matt’s article enough and I guess you are wondering what my gift suggestions would be (or not…). Well, I reckon you can’t go past a stunning serving set on special at Robins Kitchen ($19.95) which come in 3 colours – black, steel and rose gold.

Or you could pick up a lovely timber chopping board and get it laser etched at a trophy shop (try Whitsunday Trophies in Mackay) or a brand new, super sharp kitchen knife engraved with the giftee’s name on the handle. My thoughtful neighbour bought me a wonderful cookbook stand that I use every day which is not only useful but a fantastic looking kitchen accessory.

If all else fails I don’t think you can go wrong with a voucher from House, Robins Kitchen or even one for a food lover’s cooking course.

PS. On a side note, I quite like Matt Preston so we probably wouldn’t really butt heads ;)

Popular Posts