by Sarah Halfpenny
After almost two years of living through the COVID-19 pandemic – with many parts of the country in extended lockdown and small businesses suffering – it’s finally time to get out and about! With the postal system under huge strain at the moment, shopping locally will not only help your community, but also ensure you’ll get your Christmas shopping done in time!
Hampers of homemade goods
Do you have a cake, biscuit or slice that you’re known for? Or a secret family recipe you’d be willing to hand down to someone special? Get busy in the kitchen and treat your friends and family.
Artworks from a local gallery
A painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph, or work of craft or ceramics makes a unique gift that will bring lasting memories and make a year-long visual impact. Most towns have a gallery – if you haven’t visited yours yet, now’s the chance!
Give a helping hand
Offer your skills and services to time-poor loved ones. Give them a handmade voucher for things like pet-sitting, babysitting, gardening, cooking, shopping or driving.
Books by Australian authors
There are so many incredible books perfect for gifting – try the 2021 Miles Franklin award winner, ‘The Labyrinth’, written by 74-year-old Amanda Lohrey; Clementine Ford’s beautiful treatise on love ‘How We Love: Notes On A Life’; some thought-provoking poetry in ‘How Decent Folks Behave’ from Maxine Beneba Clarke; or the third instalment of Helen Garner’s diaries, ‘How to End a Story’ which covers the years 1995–1998 including her marriage breakdown.
Tickets for live entertainment
The arts have been one of the most hard-hit industries, so nab some tickets for you and a friend to a live show and help Australian performers get back on track. There are so many options – see a band at the local pub, a big theatre musical, a ballet concert, attend a film festival, a comedy show or an orchestra performance, to name a few.