Annual Events, Lifestyle, Story of the Day|December 20, 2011 9:02 am

The Cheats Guide to Christmas Shopping

Time is running out!!

As Christmas time draws near there are always those annoyingly efficient types who have managed to complete all the necessary Christmas shopping (including table décor and turkey stuffing) before the first of the month. We wish we could say we belonged in that club.

Rather we fall into the dismal bunch of souls who will be frantically racing around sardine-can shopping malls on Christmas eve searching for that ‘perfect gift’ – or something that fits the budget/timeframe! Or will we?

We got thinking and we’ve decided that it’s people like us that need some assistance. With 5 days until the festivities kick in, like us, you’re probably still chained to your desk until at least Thursday. So when will you have the time to go shopping? We think we have a solution.

So, it’s too late for proper online shopping. You know the kind where you need at least 5 to 10 days delivery time? So, we’re going to introduce you to another kind of online shopping – the voucher.
Now, don’t get confused. Everyone has received a voucher of some kind or another over the years and invariably, although they are extremely useful, they come off looking a bit thoughtless. The kind of vouchers we have in mind require a little more attention to detail and will suit whatever kind of person you need to buy for – young or old, adventurous or reclusive.

uShaka...a Kids dream!

Let’s start with something adventurous for the (mostly) younger folk. Why not buy them tickets to the nearest theme park? Nowadays most places allow you to buy tickets online ahead of schedule. Then you can just give them a nice card with the tickets inside or a confirmation slip. A lot of the time these places fantastic but a bit pricey for regular visits. This means your gift will come as a real treat. Think about uShaka Marine World or Ratanga Junction. At the Wavehouse, you can buy them a couple of rounds on the florider or the supertube. The Valley of the Waves could be the perfect excuse for a trip to Sun City and Gold Reef City‘s nice and close to those in the Gauteng area. You could even go with something as simple as Adventure Golf or Ten Pin Bowling for a smaller gift. The great thinig about these gifts, particularly for kids, is that it also gives them something fun to do during the holidays.

Fix that swing...

Next on the adventure agenda is a once-in-a lifetime experience! How about a voucher to go bungee jumping or sky-diving? If you know the person well and are sure they’re a real adrenaline junkie, these would be greatly appreciated. Even something like a 4×4 course, a diving course, 4 wheeling, paintball or tobogganing (yes, we have that here!) would be a real treat for your fun-loving family and friends. And most of them will give you the option of either booking online or buying a voucher over the phone. The most you would have to do is swing by after work to collect your voucher – but it aint a crowded shopping mall!

For those special people in your life, why not invest in their future or true passions by buying them a voucher for a course in something they love – from meditation and yoga to cooking and sewing. Some private golf sessions for the hubby perhaps, or maybe surfing lessons? These gifts show that you really know and understand the person and are keen to give them something which they otherwise wouldn’t have made time for or had the spare cash for.

Magical Madame Z!

For older people, or couples you know enjoy a night of entertainment, a voucher for a show or supper theatre could be just the thing. Even forking out for a lovely dinner at a great restaurant means you can kill 2 birds with one gift and give them quality time together to enjoy. Vaudeville in Cape Town is a new and fun experience, as is the Arena Royale in Fourways. Theatrsports never fails to disappoint and will have them rolling in the aisles. Madame Zingara is an exquisite night out full of delightful entertainment and tasty food. You could even think about buying them tickets to their local Barnyard Theatre – if you know they enjoy it!

When it comes to movie buffs, a pair of movie tickets never goes to waste, especially at a place like The Bioscope or the Labia where they can enjoy something a little bit unusual.

Click Click - Ding Dong

Another great idea for movie, music and book lovers, is to buy them an online voucher. Sure, it’s not as thoughtful, but if you’ve taken the time to notice that they use Apple products and buy them an iTunes voucher or if you’ve noticed that they enjoy South African music and buy them a voucher for Rhythmonline, you will be surprised at the reaction you’ll get. Other sites you could look at are, Musica, Rythmic Beat and Look & Listen, who all sell online vouchers. For the fashion fundis, look no further than Diligo or Cyberstorm Online Shopping. And if it’s something a little more personal or intimate you’re thinking of, try Matilda’s.

The web has made things so much easier for busy people, but sometimes we’re still stuck in our old ‘must go join the shopping throngs’ mentality. Try something different this year. You’ll stand out in a mountain of average gifts!

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