Our guide to buying alternative gifts this Christmas

Here at Blank, we feel that generosity of spirit (rather than the wallet), is what Christmas is supposed to be about. So in the interest of promoting a fabulous, pocket-friendly and socially conscious festive season for everyone, here are seven unique alternative Gold Coast Christmas shopping options that support our community, the environment, or people who aren’t quite so fortunate as ourselves.

1. Buy, Sell, Swap at the Gold Coast Indigenous Art Collective

The Gold Coast Indigenous Art Collective is hosting a special Buy, Sell and Swap Car Boot Sale at Expressive Ground, 250 Tallebudgera Drive, Palm Beach on Saturday 1 December from 8am – 12pm. Indigenous and non-indigenous art and crafts will be on offer as well as art and craft supplies. For more details head here.

2. Get a bit boutique in Robina

The annual Boutique Christmas Market started as a gathering of women who liked to make ‘things in their spare time’. This year it will be held Friday 7 December 4-8pm in the main auditorium of the Robina Community Centre. The market is for all ages and features sugar and spice, fine foods and fashion, succulents, skincare and soaps, plates and plants, candles and cakes…the list goes on. For updates go to the Facebook event.

3. Go Green at the Ecovillage

The Green Marquee Markets at the Currumbin Ecovillage will be holding a Twilight Christmas Market on Saturday 8 December from 3pm to 8pm. You can buy locally made recycled fashion, homewares, art, beauty products all maintaining the ethos of sustainable, hand-made, eco-friendly and natural.  Pasture and Co. Cafe have you covered for organic cakes and coffee and the bar will be offering up local craft beer from Black Hops & Balter Brewing as well as local handcrafted Ink Gin & Rum from Husk Distillers. Live music will be on offer by Lily Budiasa and Jackson James-Smith. Check for updates on their Facebook page.

4. Help Oxfam help others

If you don’t want to buy more stuff for yourself, you can buy a goat, chicken, pig or duck or even clean water or seeds for a family in difficult circumstances by donating money through the Oxfam website. You receive a physical or emailed card which you can then gift to a family member or friend at Christmas to let them know they are helping people out of poverty. 

5. Get ethical with Outland

While you’re online, we have to mention THAT Mt Tamborine business that supplied THOSE jeans to Meghan Markle when she and Prince Harry were in Australia. Outland Denim is a social enterprise that provides fair wage work for young women in Cambodia who have been rescued from sex and human trafficking. Built around ethical manufacturing in Cambodia, the brand employs around 45 seamstresses and provides them with a safe working environment, ongoing training and career opportunities. You can buy gift cards here.

6. DIY garden goodies

Watch Millie Ross on Gardening Australia to get ideas about recycling your tip shop finds into useable garden gifts. She’s the one who makes no-dig garden beds from tip waste, tool racks from discarded pallets, and plantable seedling pots from newspapers. The Gold Coast has two tip shops at Reedy Creek and Southport. Gardening Australia is on Friday nights but if you’re out attending office Christmas parties you can watch it on iview or the repeat is on Sunday. You can find lots of ideas for growing your own gardening presents here.

7. Get artsy

ONE Arts Gold Coast has five incredibly talented and unique artists doing December exhibition ‘Brush Strokes’ together, so there is bound to be something for everyone. Head down and do some Christmas shopping for your art-loving buddies at the opening on Saturday 8 December from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. The artists are: Margaret Williams, Jenny McLaughlin, Julie McVarnock, Brian Thomas, Nisi Papson.

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