The countdown is on. With only one month to go, that office Kris Kringle might be at the bottom of your to-do list. But don’t settle for the obligatory box of supermarket choccies – impress with these go-to goodies under $20. Plus check out the Christmas Festival Gift Finder, which has a dedicated Kris Kringle section.
Make a beeline to Beekeeper Parade for gifts that won’t cost – or hurt – the earth. Everything at this social enterprise is 100 per cent vegan and upcycled from textiles saved from landfill. Plus every purchase helps to educate kids in Cambodia. Top pick: these printed coin purses for $12. Check out their range of backpacks, totes, weekenders and pouch bags while you’re there. Find it tucked away on Melbourne Central’s lower-ground level.
With a focus on ethical and sustainably made products, Melko stocks clothing and jewellery from Brazil and other parts of South America. Their colourful headbands will brighten up any outfit and their sets of colourful bracelets, made from dried and dyed acai berries, are 100 per cent vegan and a bargain at $15.
Known for their mouth-watering chocolates in beautiful packaging, Koko Black‘s Christmas range will impress even the hardest-to-buy for. Check out the Magic Pudding Bites filled with festive fruits including cherries, cranberries, raisins and then surrounded by white chocolate. Or, the Ho-Ho Hot Chocolate, both under $20.
You can’t walk past the gift packs of Alfajores from San Telmo. These melt-in-the-mouth cookies define the café scene in Buenos Aires and are only $15 for four. Or try the house-made Dulche de Leche. Made by slowly simmering condensed milk for hours, this sweet dessert condiment can be spread on pancakes, mixed into a custard or just eaten straight out of the jar.
Queen Victoria Market
Queen Victoria Market has loads of options for gifts under $20. Stock up on edible delights from The Corner Larder, coffee from Market Lane and aromatic teas from McIver’s Tea and Coffee. Ask for a vino recommendation from sustainable wine merchant ReWine and stop for hyper-local honey from Land of Soy and Honey.
Is there anything cuter than these ‘Rainbow Pop Soapsicles’ from Soyful Soaprises? With scents from pink champagne to guava they’re a steal at $8.50 each. Plus they’re locally-made and free from chemicals, palm oil, SLS and animal fats. At Queen Victoria Market.
The Paper & Wood Co
Gift a mini Melbourne scene from The Paper & Wood Co. From koala brooches to Flinders Street fridge magnets, everything is handmade in Melbourne. Pick up a miniature matchbox scene for $20 or a laser-cut cityscape for $15.
For decades, Metro Hobbies has been the go-to shop for Melburnians with a passion for model planes, trains and automobiles. Tucked away in a Bourke Street basement, it’s an Aladdin’s cave of toys for grown-ups and kids. Check out the Smart Phone Karaoke set for $19.99. Sing along to your favourite songs, capture it all on camera and then share the recording with your friends. If singing’s not your thing, you might prefer the Pusheen plush toys, which are also under $20.
If you’re looking for a cute or quirky gift then you need to check out Monsterthreads in Centreway Arcade or QV. They have pressies-a-plenty for adults and kids, like these cockatoo-patterned socks. Or go with the ice cream or donut designs. They also have kaleidoscopes, fridge Scrabble and a large selection of eco-friendly reusable shopping bags.
The Myer Giftorium
No trip to the city is complete without a visit to the Myer Giftorium. There is so much to see, it might be easy to walk past the $20 gift section. But for that last-minute Kris Kringle colleague, it’s up your sleeve.
NGV design store
For the art lover? You can’t go past the Keith Haring and Basquiat merchandise from the NGV design store. There’s a range of posters, journals and notebooks all designed exclusively for the NGV and less than $20. Our pick is the Keith Haring and Basquiat notebook gift pack (pictured), a steal at $19.95 for both.
A Degraves Street institution, Clementine’s has a passion for all things Victorian-made. The Cricketers Soap for $13.90 is perfect for anyone who loves a (backyard) match. Or go with the delectably fragrant Dindi range for naturally scented soaps and hand creams under $20.
Dafel Dolls and Bears
A family business specialising in dolls, bears and collectables, Dafel Dolls and Bears is full of quirky gems. Tiny meerkat miniatures, toy pandas and Babuska sets are among the gorgeous items under $20 that will please the young and the young at heart. Find them at Collins234.
Card & Caboodle
Wrap it all up with paper and cute labels from Card & Caboodle. Make sure to check out the Australian-made gift cards.