Christmas doesn’t have to be the time of bad gifts and begrudging purchases. If you think a little harder about what you give, or ask for, you can reduce the shit gift fallout drastically. When it comes to Christmas, you can rely on a few gift themes. Things like toiletries, underwear, cheap electronics, something summer holiday themed, you know, the usual aunt stuff. The thing is, these are all things we need, we just don’t often get them quite right, which means that Axe shower set gets tossed into the re-gifting pile or taken to your next office Christmas party and handed off like herpes. So I’ve put a short list of the usual suspects together, mostly simple easy gifts, except this list isn’t kak.
Wooden Beach Bats
There is only one option when it comes to beach bats, the heavy wooden ones. The rest should be burnt. Don’t give me rubbish stories about rubber balls (ignore the one in the pic above) and lighter bats. The only bats worth giving or receiving are the ones above. To be used with a tennis ball – not a yellow fake beach bat set tennis ball – I’m talking Dunlop or some other official tennis ball brand that smells good when you pop that tube lid.
Get yours here.
A good beach towel is a life essential. You don’t even have to live near the sea to enjoy the benefits of a thick, large one (let’s keep this in context please). When it comes to these guys, you don’t want to feel like you’re drying yourself off with a black bag, and you definitely don’t want to be playing Lava-Lava with the sand because all four of your appendages don’t fit onto the towel. You need something plush enough to absorb the water, and large enough to share seated space, and your beach towel needs to be able to double up as an extra picnic blanket for pool days and open-air summer music shows.
These guys are a little more than you’d expect to pay for a towel, but they’re the best. And if you’ve worked all year for your week in the sun at Plett, you want the best. And Country Road stocks the best.
Choosing a T-shirt for someone you kind of know because you see them three times a year at family gatherings is like trying to choose them a girlfriend. You can’t really expect them to not only like what you’ve given them, but also wear it out proudly in public. Sure, you may think you have good taste, but perhaps your cousin just doesn’t have the pizazz to pull off a Female Body Inspector T.
Stay safe, go with the blank T’s from Woolies. You can go with the v-neck or the round, and they’re cheap. Get a Woolies card (they’re free), and take advantage of the 3 for the price of 2 option.
This is a goodie. Everyone knows what they are, everyone wants one, but it’s another grudge purchase. And we could all do with a bit of extra battery life over the holidays – kindle on the beach, camera on a hike, road trips, etc, etc – so it’s the perfect Christmas gift.
This convenient credit card sized number from RED E is a goodie, but check out the rest of the range if you’re looking for something to keep your GoPro or even laptop going a little longer.
Deodorant / Toiletries
Toiletries are another classic Christmas gift people get wrong. During my uncomfortable journey through puberty I had a cupboard full of shower packs. PUB, AXE, Playboy, basically anything that smelt like a schoolboy change room after PE. Sickly sweet and repellant.
Stick to something simple, well priced, and delicious smelling. According to a sample audience of my girlfriend, the Dove range is tops, I’d go for the Extra Fresh flavour.
Long charging cable
I know this sounds boring, but honestly, who couldn’t do with one of those extra length charging cables? They’re a grudge purchase generally, and they’re actually quite hard to find. This is something that’ll be used daily, unlike that pop-up USB speaker that’ll get used once on the beach before the person realises that only dickheads take speakers to the beach, shove it in their drawer, and use the USB cable as a spare for their hard drive.
That’s it. Easy. I doubt there is anyone on your secret Santa list that couldn’t do with any of the above, and you’re safe budget wise, with all of these ranging from R70 to around R500, it just depends how much you love your family. Don’t get to fancy, keep things functional and you’ll be the most popular uncle/cousin/sibling/parent.