It’s called the giving season for a reason right? Giving to the people you love, the pets you love, and the people you don’t love so much but feel obliged to buy for. We know the struggle is real when it comes to getting all your Christmas shopping done, so we’re here to help you avoid that 4am trip to Chadstone the week before the big day.
Melbourne is full of eclectic boutiques and shops, and they give the city that quirk and character we all love. Since it’s the giving season, why not give a little to Melbourne’s small businesses who have been doing it tough this year too? We’ve done the hard yards for you and put together the ultimate guide to shopping local in Melbourne this Christmas.
Get High In The Sky
Not that kind of high—get your head out of the gutter. We’re talking about hot air ballooning. See the city from new heights and give that special someone the view of a lifetime with Heydays. This gift is great for a day of romance or bromance, so pack a picnic and earn yourself the title of ultimate secret Santa.
Books from Independent Bookstores
Support Melbourne’s awesome literary scene with the best local bookshops. You’re bound to find something that’ll interest everyone, even that weird uncle you managed to draw for secret santa. Melbourne’s own Readings and Avenue Bookstores have released their summer reading guides, and booksellers are always there in independent stores to help you pick the perfect gift. Check out the CBD Paperback Bookshop for some late night bookshopping too. For more of Melbourne’s best bookstores check out our guide here.
Moondog Mate Fest Gift Boxes
This year has become synonymous with four little words in Melbourne, so let’s give the gift of ‘getting on the beers’ this Christmas. Moondog has got your mates covered with their Mate Fest gift boxes for all the craft beer lovers. These boxes are $139 and include 16 local and international beers to create your very own beer festival at home. Once they’re gone, that’s it, so get in quick.
Continuing the booze theme, Melbourne has so many independent and sustainable bottle shops with some seriously knowledgeable owners. If you’ve got a person on your nice list who loves a wine, then look no further than Purvis Cellars. They’ve got loads of local and international wines, craft beers and spirits. You can pick up your Christmas lunch booze while you’re there too.
Whisky is also a winner with many during the silly season. For something different, try Japanese Whisky Nikka—the stuff has just arrived down under and it's as rich in flavour as it is heritage. The Taketsuru Pure Malt is a great place to start, or explore the range to its fullest here.
Flowers are always a lovely gesture, but they’re hardly an original gift idea right? This year, give a gift that will stand the test of time and keep blooming for more than a week or two. Dried flowers are the perfect alternative. For a start, they’re stunning, they last up to seven years, and they’re far more sustainable than fresh flowers. Melbourne has loads of small dried flower businesses popping up all over Instagram and in shopfronts, so check out our guide to Melbourne’s best dried flowers here.
Since you’ll be buying the dried flowers, you’ll also be needing a vase to display them in. Ceramics have really seen a renaissance in the last few years with countless artists filling the lineups at makers markets and online marketplaces. Ceramics are a great gift because they’re durable, they’re beautiful, and they’re handmade so they’re just that little bit special and unique. Some of our favourites are Daisy Cooper, Koa, Angus and Celeste, Urban Cartel and Pilar Rojas. You can find more ceramic artists on the gallery page of the Melbourne Makers Market website.
Foodie Gift Box
Everybody loves gifts they can eat so why not treat your loved ones to a foodie pack. King and Godfree have put together four mouthwatering gift boxes to please the lovers of both sweet and savoury in your life. They’ve also got one of the largest ranges of Christmas Panettones and Pandores available with no less than seventeen varieties to choose from. You could also treat the whole family on Christmas Day to the ultimate Stokehouse x CLAMMS seafood platter or a whole roasted turkey with wine and pudding from Sibling.
Eat Like The Queen At High Tea
The Westin is hosting limited edition high teas in their opulent lobby lounge for the ultimate festive foray into the city. High tea is one of the classiest ways to show someone you care (while also indulging yourself—let’s be honest). Or you can have high tea in your pjs thanks to Providoor now delivering all across the state.
Give the Gift of an Experience
We all have that one family member who buys themselves all the things they want during the year and leaves you with nothing on the wishlist—but we’ve got them sorted too. Give the gift of an experience and save yourself the awkward-shaped gift wrapping. Rain Room is back open in St Kilda and the immersive Imaginaria installation is up and running in Docklands. You could also book an al fresco dining experience on one of Melbourne’s picnic boats along the Yarra.
Give A Hot Date At The Hot Springs
Now that Peninsula Hot Springs are back open with their new and improved set up, spoil your other half to a road trip and spa day. While you’re there, why not turn the day into a getaway and stay the night too? The new on-site luxury glamping tents make the perfect romantic treat. Or you could opt for a gift voucher to the hot springs instead if you don’t want to seem too self indulgent here.
Go Personal And Make A Gift
Nothing says personal like ‘I made it myself’. If you’re a little short on cash this year, you don’t need to cancel Christmas gifting. You can cook a nice meal, organise a picnic, make a jar of gingerbread cookies, put together the ultimate Spotify playlist or plan the ultimate staycation. Just make it personal and it’ll feel just as special.
A Box Of Chocolates From Hey Tiger
Imagine if you could give the gift of velvety smooth chocolate and support a social enterprise at the same time. Then look no further than Hey Tiger. These are no ordinary chocolate bars, they support cacao farming communities in Ghana where exploitation in the industry is rife. This chocolate is responsibly sourced and lovingly handmade right here in Melbourne, and the fun packaging is a bonus. Check out their Christmas range here.
Hit The Road And Give The Gift Of A Holiday
Instead of giving something to keep, make some memories this summer and get your glamp on. We’ve found some of Victoria’s best glamping spots for you, so all you need to do is pack the car and go. Or if you prefer to go rogue, then try these camping spots across the state. Taking a trip is a great way to celebrate the end of the year with your mates, get back to nature with the family, or escape the festivities with some peace and quiet.
Now that your shopping list is sorted, make some plans and see what’s open on Christmas Day.
Image credit: Ian Dooley