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Three Christmas present ideas for those “hard to buy for” people in your life

A guest blog by Tracey Morris

Let’s face it, we all seem to have people in our lives that we love to buy presents for at Christmas, but we can never think of anything they don’t already have. It might be Grandma or a best friend who’s like a favourite aunty to your kids. Heck it might even be yourself when your significant other asks what you’d like for Christmas.

Christmas present ideas New Zealand

For me it was always Nana who was tricky to buy for. I loved to buy her really thoughtful gifts, that she would actually use. But I must admit in recent years (before she passed away), I had been running out of ideas on a regular basis. And despite my best intentions, I would invariably resort to another pretty looking gift basket of food and goodies that I am sure she probably never ate.

If you have someone like this on your list and you need some really meaningful Christmas present ideas for them, here are some suggestions from three Whangarei-based small businesses.


Buy Disney 1000 piece jigsaw as a Christmas present for mum, dad, aunt or uncle from Thomas Online NZ

My kids loved jigsaw puzzles when they were younger, but gone are the days where they are just for kids! There are some amazing 1,000 piece puzzles available now and they make perfect presents for Grandma & Grandad.

There’s lots of research out there that shows doing jigsaw puzzles is great for keeping our brain working and relieving stress. And they are cool because you can do them on your own or share the puzzle solving with others. In fact, we usually have a puzzle set up on a table at the co-working space where I work. People are always stopping around it to chat and work out where a few pieces should go.

Whangarei small business Thomas Online owner with Barbie toys NZ

Thomas Online is a Whangarei-based online toy store and owner Kylie Armitage has a great selection of 1,000 piece puzzles on her website. So maybe give one a go as a present this year! Find Kylie’s puzzle selection here:

[Side note from Dionne: I'm a big fan of 1000 piece puzzles to help me de-stress. Though I think they drive the rest of my family mad because they can stay on the dining room table a long time before I finish them. When I've done about 95% of a puzzle, that's when the kids and husband come along, finish it and take the credit!]


If you are tired of buying gift hampers full of weird sauces that you know most people stick in the cupboard and never eat – give the budget-friendly options at Salt and Oil a try.

Dionne has a great range of relaxing bath salt gift boxes which are a lovely, natural way to relieve stress and soothe muscles. I am a huge fan of the So:Active blend for my Sunday afternoon baths after a week of boxing and lifting weights. I also gave my Mum some for her birthday last year and she really loved the SO:Relaxing bath soak which contains lavender and bergamot essential oils to calm and soothe your mind and body.

Which bath soak will you pick for mum Christmas present? Relaxing and soothing.

If your other half likes to arrange something for you “from the kids”, these are a great option as he can have fun with them picking which colour and blend they think you will like.

​Dionne also has options for your $20 Secret Santa gifts and ones to thank your children’s teacher as well.

Check out her gift box options here:


If there’s one thing I see people posting on their social media accounts time and time again, it’s how your kids are growing up so fast. And it’s so true, I can hardly believe that we are looking at an “Empty Nest” next year with our youngest off to Canterbury Uni.

If you are like lots of people I know, you might have been meaning to get your family photos updated for ages and time has just seemed to have got away on you. So, I have put together a Special $250 Christmas Gift Offer to help entice you to get them done in 2023.

Tracey Morris photo of family playing on the beach in Whangarei

You can use it for your own family, or gift it to the grandparents and organise an extended family session with them. If you are a grandparent yourself, you could also gift it to your kids and set up a session to capture yourselves with the grandchildren on the beach.

It includes a complimentary make-up voucher for you to treat yourself on photo day, a $50 print credit to put towards buying images at your Viewing and Ordering session after the shoot, a beautiful A4 print when you purchase any digital collection, album or framed print and your session fee.

Normally worth $495, this Special Christmas Gift Package is available until 21 December for $250. (I have just 5 of these sessions available for purchase before 21 Dec). Check the details here:


Dionne here again, to say:

Meet Tracey, the lovely Whangarei photographer who guest-wrote this post. We're really grateful to her, and hope it's been useful for you.

If you're in or near Whangarei, you'll know just how beautiful our beaches are for family photos.

Perhaps Tracey can help you capture the perfect shots of your family while you have some relaxed fun at the beach this summer. Check out images from some of the previous photo shoots Tracey has taken. Even the dads and teens enjoy themselves!


Do let us know if you go for a photo shoot - we'll fix you up with a SO:Relaxing bath soak for the night before to help you look and feel even more relaxed for the session!

And if you try one of Kylie's 1000 piece jigsaws - let us know how long it took you to complete!

Have you signed up for the Salt & Oil Weekly Soak email yet? Your welcome email contains

a code for $5 off AND a free gift worth $14.50 with your first order over $50.

Plus you're in the monthly draw to win a gift for you and a friend.


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