In a year when every cent counts, we’ve scoured the country for gifts under $50 that are big on value. Below you’ll find Christmas presents that, on their own, surprise and delight. But they also have heart, be they sourced from a local maker or a socially conscious business. They’re presents that are good to give, and even better to receive.
Plus, we’ve called in the experts for your toughest “what to buy” queries. Buying for kids? Shannon Wong-Nizic is a primary school teacher and the brains behind Oh Creative Day blog, where she combines her love of literacy and creative projects for children. She has hand-picked her favourite gift ideas for babies and toddlers through to teenagers. Buying for someone who’s intimidatingly picky? Rhys Ripper, a creative director, stylist and mentor with Mob in Fashion, has shared picks for beauty, style and home products to please even the most fastidiously fashionable.
Just like an Advent calendar, we’ll be updating the gift guide throughout the festive season, so check back in for bigger ticket items and last minute options throughout December.
How to use the gift guide
What’s your budget? You can filter the products based on price. Use the slider to set your budget before you browse.
What do you want? You can search by gift category: collectibles for objects to have and to hold; activities for books, crafts, and projects to occupy hands and minds; edibles for things to snack and sip; wearables for beauty, style and fashion products; and essentials for everyday items (with a little something extra).
Who is it for? Whether your recipient is a secret Santa you barely know, or your impossible-to-buy-for father, you can sort by the five personality types of Christmas: someone fun, someone refined, someone grumpy, someone curious and someone adventurous. For kids, you can sort by age and development: a baby (0-1 years), a toddler (2-3 years), a preschooler (4-5 years), a kid (6-7 years), a tween (8-11 years), and a teen (12-17 years).
When you spot something you like tap on the plus icon to get all the details, then hit “buy online” to be taken to the product’s website.
Our gift guide is selected by Guardian Australia’s lifestyle team, based on extensive product research (we’ve sifted through a lot of trash to find the treasure), our best judgment and what brings us joy. A spot in the gift guide cannot be bought. We may make some money from affiliate links from certain items featured in the guide, but we do not prioritise retailers who have affiliate partnerships (or even know which ones have them). Because many of the gifts featured are from small businesses, some products may sell out. If you see something you want that is not available immediately, it is worth contacting the seller to place an order, or to find out when it will be back in stock.