After a long year of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, we're all looking forward to spending Christmas with family and friends, eating delicious food and relaxing in the sunshine.
But the festive season can also be a time of stress and indecision as you attempt to figure out what to buy for friends, family, in-laws, your kid's teacher etc.
We're here to help with a definitive Newshub Christmas gift guide series.
Multiple lockdowns this year have taken their toll on many Kiwi businesses who were forced to adapt to store closures and staff losses.
With that in mind, there's no better time than this Christmas to support Aotearoa-owned and operated gift makers.
Luckily, New Zealand is full of very clever cookies who we should be giving our hard-earned dollars to anyway - and coming out of it with some pretty beautiful and unique gifts in the process.
Here are some of our faves:
The Avo Tree Face Oil, RRP $49.99
We all know an avocado obsessed millennial who eats them on toast for breakfast, in guacamole for lunch and smears it on as a face mask after dinner. However they take their avocado, Tauranga-based avocado-subscription service The Avo Tree has them covered - especially after launching a new skincare range this year. I love the new nourishing face oil - it combines avocado oil with blackcurrant and pear to leave you with a glowing, energised complexion. Get the lucky recipient a box of avocados on the side to truly win the title of 'best gift giver ever'.
Common People Small Cross-body Bag, RRP $310
This popular Wanaka-based brand has managed to hustle a new collection in the midst of a global pandemic and we're so glad they did. My pick from the new 'Brakes Off' collection is this super cute leather crossbody bag in white and cobalt, which has five external card slots - a genius move - and will lift any outfit, even the most basic black dress. Give it to a lucky lady in your life who can pop her phone, cards and lipstick in it and head out into the sunshine to meet her friends for drinks. Handy tip: it also comes in black if you want to make a day-look instantly more evening-appropriate.
Aotea x Superette Super Skin Wellness Gift Set, RRP $99
What better way to celebrate local than using some of the incredible ingredients native to Aotearoa? That was obviously the thinking which led to this beautiful wellness set made in collaboration between Aotea x Superette. All the products in this set are inspired by Māori herbal remedies, with a kawakawa balm, manuka oil and manuka honey mask - all soothing options for summer. The kawakawa balm is especially great to take away on your next camping trip, as it's perfect for treating bumps, rashes and insect bites.
Father Rabbit x Lettuce Park Picnic Puzzle, RRP $42
The perfect gift for that puzzle-loving foodie in your life or just someone missing Auckland this summer, this puzzle made by Auckland puzzlers Lettuce shows an appetising picnic scene of sourdough, salad, cheese and fruit in Cornwall Park. It's a great one to send over to that person experiencing Christmas in the northern hemisphere, as even in the depths of winter this will make you feel like you're lying in the dappled sunshine in a New Zealand park. Each puzzle has 1000 pieces - great to keep entertained those rainy days during the summer holidays as well.
&Sunday Oversized Float, RRP $79
Know someone with a swimming pool? Maybe it's time to lift their Instagram game with one of these stylish oversized pool-floats from New Zealand brand &Sunday, available on their site or instore at Superette. Perfect for replacing that rumpty old pool noodle that's seen better days, these giant rings and floaties are designed with tasteful home decor in mind. What's more, the family-owned business screenprints their own designs from non-toxic environmentally friendly PVC. Give it as a Christmas gift to a friend and basically buy yourself a pass to use their swimming pool all summer - it's a win win.