Festive Season Gift Guide

Rebecca Varidel
29th Oct 2018

One of the first world problems that arrives each December, is what to buy for festive season gifts. Where-ever you're located in Sydney there's sure to be a shopping mall close by. But for something a little bit different, we've put together our thoughtful five on how to shop this year.

1. The Big Design Market

Featuring over 200 designers, 10 of Sydney’s hottest food and drink brands, free kids activities, live art and more, THE BIG DESIGN MARKET returns to Sydney’s Royal Hall of Industries just in time for festive season shopping from Friday 7 - Sunday 9 December, 2018. $2 entry.

The 2018 stallholder line-up includes a carefully curated assembly of the best local creative talent, with many new additions including jewellery brand Kitsu, ceramicist Shuh Lee and indigenous social enterprise Bush Medijina, as well as independent publishers The School of Life. Homewares, fashion, beauty care products, furniture, stationery, tech items and kids’ products are just some of the designer goods that visitors to The Big Design Market can expect to discover.

2. Etsy Made Local markets are back again for a fourth year, helping shoppers in nine cities across the country discover more than 800 of Australia’s best makers, designers and curators—just in time for Christmas. The pop-up markets allow shoppers around the country to discover the wealth of creativity and craftsmanship in their own backyards and shop local for their Christmas gifting. Sydney’s market will be taking place on 10am - 5pm Saturday November 24, at Centennial Park.

3. Who needs more wrapping papers?

I'm forever grateful for a bus at my doorstep, and an easy road to education. It's been a great week in Sydney. Which get's me thinking about gift giving in a different way, to someone who needs support more than me.

World Bicycle Relief (WBR) is a global non-profit organisation that mobilises people in developing countries through The Power of Bicycles. It is committed to helping communities in rural areas conquer the challenge of distance, achieve independence and thrive. The simple act of providing a bicycle allows people to improve their lives enormously, and become more self-sufficient. It really is the gift that keeps on giving. For many people in rural regions of developing countries, poverty is a daily reality. In areas where walking is the only mode of transport, a Buffalo Bicycle offers the real and immediate benefit of reliable access to essential goods and services. Powered by the remarkable human spirit, bicycles are a catalyst of possibilities.

In 2017 alone, World Bicycle Relief distributed over 54,000 new Buffalo Bicycles. Ahead of Christmas 2018, World Bicycle Relief is putting the call out to all Australians to spare a thought for the families of sub-Saharan Africa, and make a Festive Season donation - however big or small - to change lives. Look how much such a small amount can achieve. Who needs more wrapping paper?

4. Merry Musical Christmas

One of the sweetest ways to celebrate is giving a glorious experience. Why not think about giving the gift of a Christmas concert this year?

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Choir delights us each year with NOËL! NOËL! Like discovering Prague’s Christmas market in the middle of your hometown. Filled with musical treasures including Christmas favourites such as O Come All Ye Faithful and Stille Nacht. This year there are again performances at City Recital Hall at 5pm and 7pm, Wednesday 12 and Saturday 15 December,and performances in Paddington, Wollongong, Parramatta, Mosman and Newtown.


The Australian Chamber Choir is set to thrill audiences in Sydney this Christmas season with a program of Baroque ‘hits’ to bring seasonal joy to music lovers of all tastes on 24 November 2.30pm in the atmospheric locale and spectacular acoustic of St Mary’s Cathedral Crypt.


5. Rock On All Year

What could bring more joy for the rock fan in your life than one of these special limited edition keepsakes.

Sunshine Of Your Life by Eric Clapton

Telling this story through a wealth of stunning photographs and original commentary from world-renowned musicians, Sunshine Of Your Love is Eric Clapton's official limited edition book and record set documenting the Crossroads Guitar Festivals, 1999-2013. Featuring archival photos and exclusive interviews with Eric Clapton and the performers who took part, each numbered copy is signed by at least three legendary Crossroads musicians. Purchase exclusively via retail sale in Australia at Ariel Books, or online.

"Crossroads brought together all the players I had admired and respected over the years. It was like a magic circus, a dream come true. " – Eric Clapton


Adding The Blue by Chrissie Hynde

'I always thought I would get into painting, but I got waylaid by rock 'n' roll. Finally, I thought, "Now's the time." As soon as I could be alone and paint without any interruptions, I just couldn't stop.' - Chrissie Hynde

In 2015, Chrissie Hynde, the singer, songwriter and leader of The Pretenders, produced an oil painting of a ceramic vase. It proved to be the starting point for Chrissie Hynde’s first body of work, nearly 200 canvases in all. These paintings are now shared for the very first time in Chrissie Hynde's signed limited edition, Adding The Blue. Onsale in Sydney bookstores from mid-November.