• Mandy / MNDY Photography


My mantra for the 2019 Festive Season, shop small, shop clever, shop sustainable.


Over the years I’ve become less and less attached to Christmas presents, for me it’s become a point of anxiety rather than a joyful experience of giving and receiving gifts. To achieve the perfect balance of getting something that person will love, within your budget, without negatively impacting the environment or encouraging thoughtless consumerism is a huge challenge. And after several years of buying presents for the same family and friends over and over, it can become a chore, just another thing on the to-do list rather than a thoughtful andctivity fun a. So this year, I am setting myself a challenge, every present I buy needs to fall in to one of the below categories:


Small business makes the world go round - that’s a song lyric yeah? Shopping small is not only critical to the economy and all that jazz but it’s got the indisputable three-way-feel-good factor: 1. You feel good for supporting a local biz. 2. Your friend feels good getting a beautiful, thoughtful gift. 3. And the biz owner feels good that people out there love the products she’s poured her heart and soul into.

Here's a few of my faves:

  • We are Posie - the most divine scents!

  • Totum - naturopathy led products with the most delicious tea blend.

  • Canvas and Wood - beautifully hand crafted wood frames around a floating canvas.

  • Cedar and Stone - online skincare brand turned small biz brand mecca on James St in Burleigh.

  • Clay Cup - environment friendly cups made from leftover clay from a pottery studio.

  • Your local markets - The Village Markets in Burleigh is my go-to.

  • Small biz publications - Slow Journal, Small Collective just to name a couple.


Buying presents for presents sake is never a good idea. The likelihood that the person receiving the gift will spend as much time enjoying it as you did buying it (roughing about 15 minutes), is high. Then, it will most probably end up buried in a cupboard or worse, straight to landfill. So if you can’t think of that perfect special gift for someone, there are practical alternatives for any budget that are quick and easy to buy and much less wasteful.

Gift cards- some people think giving gift cards is a cop out, but if you’re struggling to buy for someone who seems to have everything, they likely enjoy shopping, so instead of thinking “what a lazy gift” they are probably thinking “guilt free shopping to buy what ever i want!” These days gift cards are usually valid for three years, you can buy digital cards and people will be able to buy things they seriously love, so there’s zero waste!

Experiences- If it’s the mass consumerism that really gets to you around Christmas time, then experiences are definitely the best gift to give. While you can absolutely have too much stuff, you can never have to many experiences. My faves with the most choice: Red Balloon (for special experiences, activities and outings) Ticketek/Ticketmaster (for shows, concerts and sports) and Good Food (for restaurants)

Alcohol - for booze drinkers, never fails, never wasted, always grateful.

Massage - As I realised recently frequent massages are a necessity not a luxury. But it can often be postponed, ignored or forgotten about, so for the time poor, stressed, over worked, super busy person in your life, a spa voucher is perfect. (If you're based on southern Gold Coast, the divine Greenhouse the Bathhouse is a must.)

Memories - Like a massage, a photoshoot can seem like more of a luxury, but the thought of looking back in 20 years and not having physical memories to reminisce makes me so sad. When your little ones were young, when your pooch was a pup, that time you and your bestie were single together, the special and sometimes brief moments between a grandchild and grandparent, or if you’re lucky a great grandchild and a great grandparent! And sure, iPhone photos are great, but there’s still nothing like having your photos taken by a professional who has as much care taking your photo as they do they own family. (Shameless plug, MNDY Gift Vouchers available email mndyphotography@gmail.com to enquire…)

S H O P   S U S T A I N A B L Y 

Whether you are a sustainability advocate or a climate change non-believer (you must also believe Santa still comes down the chimney!) buying sustainable, eco-considered gifts is without a doubt always the better option. Here’s a couple of ways to go about this: 1. Choose sustainably made items, 2. Choose items that will help change a persons environmental habits long term.

  • Use online shop "considered edits" like The Iconic

  • Think about the little things that become habit - Give gifts like takeaway coffee cups and bottles (Caye Life have an epic range of colours) canvas and reusable bags (the crew at Seed and Sprout have you covered there) and veggie patch starter kits (Little Veggie Patch Co make it super simple!)

So if you’ve gotten to this point, you’re obviously on board with this mantra, so I’d love you to join me in the challenge... I want to hear about all of your small biz, clever, sustainable buys and brands. So message, comment, DM, PM, post, share and hashtag






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