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6 last minute, sustainable Christmas present ideas

For the disorganised but thoughtful festive giftgiver in all of us

Alice Nguyen

If at this point you haven’t got all your Christmas presents sorted, then it’s likely you’re considering going down Oprah’s route i.e. “you get a gift card!” and “YOU get a gift card!” But with the ever-looming pressure to be an ethical consumer, gifting memorable experiences or supporting struggling industries can be a lot more meaningful than just another random shower gel pack.

Buy local and Aussie-made

Has there ever been a better year to support local? The Opera House's Uncovered program showcases the work of emerging makers and creatives. Marrickville-based ceramicist Milly Dent makes striking angular ceramics which are inspired by the Sydney harbour and its coastline. Her signature tableware collection is available from the Opera House onsite retail shop and online store here


Get creative! That old mug and teapot set sitting in the back of your cupboard that never gets used can be turned into a cute flower pot or planter. Pop a succulent from the garden in and voila, instant gift. Didn't you know DIY was one of the themes of 2020?

Sustainable secret Santas

Sharing is caring. Your aunt doesn't need another tube of hand cream. And your neighbour doesn't need a box of chocolates. Maybe you've read that copy of Boy Swallows Universe a bunch of times already and have moved on to your next literary adventure. Pay it forward as a gift and you can avoid the Christmas shopping crowds. Win-win. 

A fancy Christmas lunch, where nobody has ever celebrated before

Imagine this. You're chatting to your workmates and everyone's sharing what their Christmas plans are. Beryl from the finance department will say, "Yep, we're heading up to Fingal Bay with the kids to stay with my husband's parents." You can dust that dirt off your shoulder and go, "We're actually going to be at the Opera House. They're opening for lunch in the Joan Sutherland Theatre Foyers for the first time ever and we managed to snap up some tickets. Yeah, they're usually closed on Christmas Day so nobody has ever been able to celebrate Christmas there before." Cue: impressed (read: jealous) colleagues. 

Tickets to a show

For that mate who's sworn off materialism, tickets to an unforgettable performance at the iconic Opera House screams, "This isn't last minute and I wanted you to have an enriching experience." And there's something for everyone:

Choir of Man, 17 Feb - 4 Apr 2021, tickets from $59

I don't know about you, but in a year that feels like sopping wet sheets in an old tumble dryer, I could do with a cold pint and a bunch of my favourite tunes in an old-fashioned pub with friends. 

Opera Australia's Great Opera Hits, 3 Jan - 5 Feb 2021, tickets from $69

For opera lovers and first timers alike, these relaxed concerts give you the greatest hits of opera, all in 90 minutes. 

Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark, 4 - 22 Jan 2021, tickets from $49

To pee or not to pee? For the little ones, the gift of comedy from Australia's silliest kidult duo The Listies is infinitely better than that toy I guarantee they'll forget about five minutes after unwrapping. Expect ninjas, ghosts, swords, dinosaurs, zombies and supersonic gags in this hilarious take on Shakespeare. 

James Galea's BEST TRICK EVER, 2 Jan - 14 Feb 2021, tickets from $49

Make the start to everyone's new year a magical one, with James Galea and Australia's best magicians. Be consumed by the seemingly impossible and witness some of the most mind-boggling magic tricks. 

Hit up your local op shop

Vintage is in. And so is ethical consumption. Kitschy crockery from the 80's? Adorable. The best part is, they'll know it's one of a kind. 

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