Ultimate last-minute Christmas gift guide for all ages
Overcrowded malls will be a hellscape of last-minute Christmas shoppers this week, all making a mad dash for the gifts they wish they had bought a month ago.
More than a third of Aussie shoppers ticked off their gift lists early but, in NSW, 16 per cent are bracing to go hard just days before the big bloke in red arrives, according to a new survey from the Tourism & Transport Forum.
On the organised side of this year's shoppers, women are ahead of men by almost 10 per cent, while Canberrans put the rest of the nation to shame with 53 per cent knocking off their gift lists last month.
Tourism & Transport chief executive Margy Osmond said, across the board, Aussies were spending less this year, with 53 per cent of those surveyed capping their Christmas spend at $500 and 31 per cent at $1000.
"Many Australians are out of the gates early in terms of Christmas shopping but they are not splurging this year," Ms Osmond said.
"There appears to be a degree of caution in the air when it comes to spending up big this year."
With two shopping days left and online deliveries now ruled out, pulling off a winning gift shop won't be easy. But, with careful planning, it's possible.
Many shopping centres are open until 10pm Sunday and midnight on Monday so make a list, check it twice - and get ready for some extreme gift shopping.
To help, The Sunday Telegraph has complied the ultimate SOS last minute Christmas gift guide.
Keep the smallest family members happy with hands-on gifts like Play-Doh kits, bubble blowing toys, blackboards and chalk, beach toys, bucket and spade sets, Lego and anything Wiggles or Bluey.
● Play-Doh Starter Set, $12, Kmart
● Bluey plush dolls, $12-$35, Target, Kmart, Dymocks,
● Lego Duplo Town Submarine Adventure $19, Target, Big W, Kmart,
Frozen, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park Lego sets are in hot demand this year, Baby Alive dolls are making a comeback and BeyBlade will keep kids entertained for hours. Boardgames for rainy days and outdoor equipment to keep them active are also good options.
● Frozen Lego from $19-$99, Big W, Kmart, Target
● BeyBlade Burst Rise Hypersphere Starter Pack $18 and Beystadium $19, Big W
● Paw Patrol, Frozen's Elsa, Batman costumes, $25, Spotlight.
If you have a reader, head to HarperCollinsto find the top picks for 9-12 year olds. Maybe try Morris Gleitzman's Funny Stories: And Other Funny Stories or David Walliam's The Beast of Buckingham Palace. You can't go wrong with Lego, journals, art supplies, DIY craft kits, Nerf blasters for sprinkler-free summer days and outdoor play equipment.
● X-shot bubble balls, $38, Target
● Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Oh Snap Bundle, $99, Target
● The Ultimate Dreamcatcher Book and Kit, $10, Big W
● Build Your Own Solar System kit, $15, Kmart
Shop from home: SurfStitch E-gift card. Visit surfstitch.com
Cruelty-free Lush gift packs are divine for socially conscious teens of all genders, starting from $19.95. For YouTube makeup fans, Sephora makeup kits are fun, while gamers will be happy with online subscriptions. Headphones, earpod kits, Netflix cards and phone cases are all winners.
● Morphe X James Charles palette, $59, Mecca Maxima
● GoPro camera (4K Action Dual Screen Camera $99, Big W; GoPro HERO7 Silver 4K Action Video Camera, $298, Harvey Norman)
Unless otherwise specified, cash is king but, if a physical gift is a must, try these.
● Cards Against Humanity, the despicable party card game, $44, Target
● A bottle of rosé or local craft beer. Head to Young Henry's cellar door and pick up a 1.89L Growler, the takeaway jug of beer you can buy and return to the brewery and minimise waste, $27, Young Henrys, 76 Wilford St, Newtown. Or try Riverside Brewing Co's six-packs of 69 Summer Ale ($24) and 55 Pale Ale ($27), cellar door, 3/2 N Rocks Rd, North Parramatta.
● Chromecast: Stream all the best online shows from mobile or laptop straight to the TV, $49, all electronic stores
Mums deserve spoiling at Christmas, so give them a little luxury - indulgent cosmetics, T2 gift packs, books, jewellery, pyjamas and spa treatments.
● Myer Little Box of Beauty Gold Limited Edition $89 (19 deluxe samples worth $285)
● Nespresso Essenza Mini Solo Capsule Machine Black $129
Skip socks and undies and go for beer and wine, sporting goods, camping gear, music, gadgets and things worthy of putting in a shed.
● Bunnings e-gift card: $10 minimum
● Drone, from $49, JB Hi -Fi
● Glenfiddich Experiment 02 Project XX Scotch whisky, $105, Dan Murphy's
Get your elders something to talk about. If they dote on the grandkids and have a smartphone, get them a mini pocket photo printer so they can print out family photos from their phone. Or order an Ancestry DNA kit which, while it won't arrive in time, is a talking point that will last for months. A Google Home Mini is a fun way to bring hands-free help to them in any room. Books, jigsaw puzzles and restaurant vouchers are good alternatives.
● Kindle: Paperwhite 8GB, $169, Good Guys
● HP Sprocket Plus Photo Printer, $129, JB Hi-Fi
● Ancestry DNA kits, $89, ancestrydna.com.au
Shop from home: Booktopia vouchers. Visit booktopia.com.au
From spy-cams to GPS trackers for furry escape artists and cute outfits, there is no limit to entertaining pets and their doting owners this year.
● Star Wars Purina pet toys, $14.99, Coles, Woolworths, Big W
● Cheerble Wicked Ball, which entertains pets all day, $79.95, Myer.
● Dogness Smart Camera Treater (a pet camera with treat-tossing capability and night vision), $169, JB Hi-Fi
Shop from home: Doggie day trip: send your pal for a all-day play with Doggie Day Care Farm Trips, from $70. Options include Farm Trips. Playground, a new magnesium pool with swimming lessons and dock dive training. As well as birthday parties, sleepovers and Christmas celebrations. doggydaycarefarmtrips.com.au
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