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As residents and business-owners, one of our rules is to use local products and services as much as possible. We hope, in turn, others will do the same to us. Surprisingly, this loose business strategy works. My husband owns a kite shop and whenever someone comes to quote us on roof restoration or a plumbing job, the conversation usually turns to kitesurfing. Our carpenter is one of our best customers.

At Christmas, however, my good intentions go to pieces. Christmas shopping, like routine medical tests, is something  you want Over And Done With. ASAP. This task drives people to one-stop shopping worlds built on the edges of our towns and filled with shiny shops and the promise that everything you need is here in one place.

Oh how I detest big malls. Actually, if I'm honest, I am no fan of shopping, so these giant mazes have as much appeal to me as the dentist. The one near us, Westfield Chermside, is almost as big as Luxembourg and ten times as disorienting. I've been there half a dozen times and have only covered about 10 percent of it's offerings because I'm too scared to stray too far in case I can never get out again.

Christmas shopping doesn't need to be a horrifying experience. It can be fun, even rewarding. Picking up something here and something there - and all close to home - is a wonderful feeling. All of a sudden, it's done. The gloves are off, the presents are wrapped. It's time to make the glaze for the ham.

I've often proclaimed that the Penisula has everything we need. And it's true - even when it comes to that dreaded task of Christmas shopping. Here are some of my favourite places to pick up quality gifts:


Kashmir: 59 Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe
This cafe and gift shop has gorgeous artwork, jewellery, homewares, handbags, eco-shopping bags, tea sets and more. Also does yummy gluten-free food to enhance your shopping experience. It's at the southern end of Redcliffe Parade, near the Commonwealth and next door to Retro Cafe.


FeelGoodz: Shop 7, Point Plaza, 14 Oxley Avenue, Woody Point

Ok, so I spend a lot of time in cafes... What I love about FeelGoodz is that they sell interesting gourmet foodstuff that makes great gifts. Aussie spices, African sauces, locally made chocolates, preserves, pickles, oils and so on. The cafe is at the far end of Woody Point, click here to go to the FeelGoodz website


Orange Sherbet: Bluewater Square, Cnr Anzac Ave and Sutton St, Redliffe

Love this fashion shop, full of girlie gifts and lovely things. Brands include Ladakh, Mink Pink, Living Doll, plus Ginger & Smart PJs and Urban Rituelle bath and body products. Also check out Ily next door in Bluewater Square.


Redcliffe Garden Centre: 47 Snook Street, Clontarf

Nothing says Christmas quite like a bright-red succulent in a pot, but this gorgeous garden centre sells more than plants. From smiling buddhas to grinning geckos, tibetan prayer flags to windchimes, you'll be surpsied what you can find. They're located at the edgy of the Clontarf Trading Estate.


Vast Interior: 177 Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe

I often lurk in the corners of this crowded homewares shop imagining my future perfect life. In among all the day beds and cabinets are fantastic presents for people with style. Find them next to Coffee Club. Click here to go to the Vast website.







Published: Dec 6, 2010 8:55pm by johegerty.

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