Do you need some tips and inspiration for your Christmas shopping? In this article All About Whitianga team member, Kat visited Whitianga stores to gather inspiration for Christmas gifts. Read about her gift ideas for everyone in the family (including the fur babies). She also found some 'hidden gems' on her search. You'll be able to tick off the Christmas list in no time, and you'll also be supporting local retailers!
Help the Mercury Bay community thrive by buying local this Christmas!
Buying locally, means:
- you won’t be crossing fingers that your online purchase arrives before Christmas
- and you can enjoy the knowledge that you’ve supported local and helped a small business.
I find Christmas shopping a chore. I am usually ‘over it’ after a couple hours. For me Christmas shopping means a list, a plan (often geographically organised!) and getting in and out as fast as I can. This week I met with local retailers for some ideas, and returned to the office with a whole lot of inspiration and Christmas presents sorted. It was so pleasant to be able to have a good look around, a chat to the store owner and assistants, ask questions and not be bumped and jostled by other shoppers. Mid-week local shopping trips could be my new ‘thing’!
Kat Neilson-Jones - All About Whitianga Team
Try Shopping local this Christmas
Are you the family member that seems to land the task of buying all the Christmas gifts for the family? The good news is, I’ve done some of the hard work and collated an extensive selection of ideas for presents that you can pop under the Christmas tree this year. And, I’ve also included a list of a few hidden gems that I found in local Whitianga retail shops.
Specialising in gifts
If you need ideas the ladies at Chique are experts in the art of gift giving. New instore are the Becca natural candles which smell wonderful. Becca also has a range of solid fragrance balms. Other popular gifts include silk pillow cases, coasters, platters, clocks and mirrors. For stylish gifts for the smallest member of the family Chique has adorable babywear and baby accessories.
Op Shop Glory – Recycle and Reuse
Take a ramble through Whitianga’s op shops. You’re bound to find some great bargains for Christmas, and be supporting local charity at the same time. There’s an everchanging supply of:
- Puzzles and books in excellent condition – fantastic for summer fun
- Cushions – remove the cover , save the inner, then sew some new covers, perhaps personalised for the kids or Dad?
- Photo frames to up cycle, or just use as is and place a great shot inside it
- And of course much more!
I also spotted some old bottles and vases, why not fill with some dried or fresh flowers? Make sure you check out St Johns, the Cook Drive Op Shop, Coghill Op Shop and the Cancer Society Book Shop.
Stocking stuffers to delight – and more
The Glass House Emporium is a destination to get just about anything, including well priced items to fill the kids’ stockings. In fact, if you are feeling a little crafty you could grab some fabric and whip up the Christmas stockings too! If you are looking to make your gifts, there is an absolute treasure trove of items help bring your ideas into fruition. I was eyeing up the jars to fill with baking ingredients as an idea for kid gifts to make their own chocolate biscuits. These could then be decorated with some festive fabric and ribbons.
There’s such a variety of ideas for gifts here, I could write a whole article. So here’s just a couple:
- If you need a pressie for your furry four-legged friend, there’s a selection of pet items and toys
- Art supplies – to paint a masterpiece
- Gardening gear & fishing tackle – because they always need more!
- Mugs & cups – to fill with chocolate or sweets
- Christmas wrap and ribbon – for all of the above!
Beach fashion and beyond
The crew at Blackjack Surf have an awesome range of summer fashion and accessories to suit town, beach and country! Including:
- Fabulous hats that provide essential shade from the strong New Zealand sun, great Billabong carryalls to take to the beach
- Plenty of ideas for men and boys including colourful boardies, shoes, surf and skate gear
- Slick jandals as part of what I’m guessing is the biggest range in Whitianga
- Cute women’s handbags, lots of colours and sizes and nice range of fashion watches.
Unique and a bit different
If you are looking for a gift that’s a little bit different or unique, why not have a wander through Mosaic? There’s a load of quirky and beautiful items that would make great gifts. My favourites while browsing included the jewellery, hand creams, caravan coasters, outdoor pottery hangings and cute little pottery birds. There’s a lot in here, just take the time to look around. You should be able to find something for most people here – especially those that seem to have everything!
If you are thinking about the fisherperson in your family, make sure you get in quick if you are after a new Shimano reel and rod. Derek at the Whitianga Sport Centre has a selection in stock but tells me that his next shipment won’t be in until April! For the kids, there are boogie boards, ski tubes of all shapes and sizes, along with sports gear, like tennis rackets and rugby balls. For the diver in the family, you’ll be able to pick up dive gear too.
Natural Raww goodness
A great backstop for gifts is of course, the chemist. But don’t just grab a gift voucher at Mercury Bay Pharmacy, take a look at their gift boxes and packs, from perfume to skin care. There’s hats galore to choose from and jandals and slides to match. Just in from Australia is a new natural, superfood infused, cruelty free, skin care and make up range called Raww.
You can’t go wrong with…
According to my husband, you can’t go wrong with power tools for Christmas. On the other hand, gardening tools and knick knacks are more my thing. Luckily Whitianga Hardware have stocked up on both ready for the summer rush.
As you explore Whitianga Hardware the shop keeps unfolding more items that could easily be put under the Christmas tree. Boonies footwear, Kaiwaka clothing or a 'grunty' looking diesel powered heater. It’s definitely worth a browse if these are items on your shopping list.
Keeping it healthy
The team at Health 2000 are very knowledgeable on what vitamins, minerals, superfoods, digestive products and antioxidants you may be looking for to counter the Christmas and summer indulgences. Perhaps it’s a New Years resolution that’s late getting started or planning for next year. There's a new range of powdered supplements that you can mix with your juice in the morning. If you are buying for someone else, take a look at their range of organic natural Zuii beauty products and remember they have gift vouchers too. Make sure you pop in and see the newly made over store.
Bohemian and Rustic
Cote Bleu Home is full of dreamy things. If you share my traits and are obsessed with cute – but practical things visit this store. Incidentally my obsession is small bowls which are a must for my summer platters.
In store you’ll find all sorts of treasures for all budget ranges. Popular gifts are the home and body fragrance line 'Lothantique' made in France. Inexpensive wooden candle holders sold as a set or individually, colourful ceramic hearts and crosses made in Waihi with a touch of kiwiana.
Say it with Flowers
It’s a great time of year for flowers, so a bunch of bright blooms from Epoch Florist is a fresh way to say Merry Christmas. If you give them a call they can put together a gift basket for you too.
Outdoor glam and indoor inspiration
Soft furnishings for the outdoor area includingoutdoor cushions, rugs and bean bags can be found at Guthrie Bowron. For more ideas wander around and feast your eyes on their array of homewares – frames, mirrors, pot plant pots, nautical themed décor, decorative hooks and much more.
Everything water and keeping it clean
If you are a practical gift buyer, and I freely admit that I am, then talk to the team at Think Water. A great practical gift is a water filter unit, garden irrigation supplies, or something from the range of Stihl products that they have in store.
A new look for your home
Perhaps you are looking to refresh of your home interior this Christmas? Why not treat yourself or the family to new blinds, shutters or floor coverings. Contact the team from Fagans Flooring Xtra who can show you all the options – what a great present. They also stock smaller soft furnishing items that can go under the tree.
Not just a chandlery, Longshore Marine have gifts big and small for all budgets. From kayaks and ski biscuits, to paintings and nautical themed homewares. You could get a local chart framed, or pop some lures in a Christmas stocking. Of course there are fishing rods, reels and all the accessories and you can't go past a huge chiller bag for the boat.
The Hidden gems I found…
Because I wasn’t rushing around I had time to have a good look and there were a couple of surprises I found in local stores.
- At the Glass House Emporium I found a range of cast iron camping cookware and solid looking gas camping stoves. I was tempted to grab one and make camp bread
- Blackjack Surf have a range of great looking watches
- The St John’s Op shop has jewellery and necklaces etc. for sale
- Pool chemicals from Whitianga Hardware
- Some beautiful canvases covered in feathers at Mosaic
- A range of lovely silk nightwear at Chique
- New range of ‘clean and healthy’ skin care at the Mercury Bay Pharmacy
- Welders and pool supplies can be found at never ending Whitianga Hardware
- A range of whole food products at Health 2000
- Pond supplies and water features at Think Water
- Stoney Creek has a range of outdoor wear and it's stocked at Longshore Marine
- See Fagans Flooring Xtra stock mats. They have an inhouse overlocking service that can edge carpet off cuts
- Little brass pieces from Cote Bleu - palm and pineapple pate knives and spoons, nautically themed bottle openers, napkin rings and seahorse hooks
- Guthrie Bowron have cute doorstops and curtain tiebacks to stop doors banging and curtains billowing on the breeze.
Remember that small businesses are the heart of our community, the spine of the local economy and the spirit of our town!