Kris Kringle: 16 gifts that aren’t pointless junk
This office Christmas ritual can lead you to buying a whole bunch of junk that will be sitting at the bottom of someone’s drawer for years...

Dec 06, 2013 12:40
by Sally Creagh

We’ve all seen the typical Kris Kringle presents: the comedy toilet paper; the not-funny joke mugs; the paperweights. If you don’t want to pay good money just to contribute to more landfill, check out these 16 gifts for under $16.


Got a wine lover or foodie as your Kris Kringle? You’re in luck. For around $10 you can get a good bottle of wine, or a piccolo bottle of sparkling plus some chocolates. Who wouldn’t love that?

Intellectual stimulation

How about a book? Many classics have been republished and are selling for around $12, as well as newer titles. Movies too. Go to the sale section of an online DVD store and pick one of your favourite classics, then write a review of the book or film in your card to prompt them to get into it and maybe discuss it later. If you’re not sure what they may or may not have read/seen then try a brain training game that can be played in a group or on one’s own.

Useful gadgets

Novelty gadgets are as popular as they are useless, but purposeful ones can be a great gift. Try these for your tech-head pals: iPlunge phone stand, $8.90; Sketch Stylus, $9.95  Phone signal blocking bag, $11.90.

Pretty & Personal

If you have a sense of someone’s personal style, in fashion or homewares then you have lots of options. Try a pretty necklace or decorative bunting set. For personal care, this Natio body TLC kit for $15.95 is hard to beat.

Joke gifts

Sometimes a joke gift is your only option. But they have to be genuinely funny, or what’s the point? An ‘instant mullet’ is the Groucho Marx mask of our era, I challenge anyone not to smile when they see this.

Something truly useful

Organisations like World Vision and Unicef have made it so easy to give a gift with real meaning, the exact opposite of the pointless junk we find ourselves giving and receiving every Christmas. For $10 you can buy fruit and vegetable seeds that will provide the means of feeding several families; for $11 you can buy a story book or school supplies package for kids who have nothing; for $20 you can buy 600 sachets of micronutrient powder that will give underfed children the vitamins they need to stay healthy.

Feel better? What are your favourite not-junk gift ideas?

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