It’s less than two weeks to C-Day and if you’re anything like me, you’re still yet to plan your holiday menus and finish off your present shopping.

I’m a big believer in supporting local businesses and keeping our main streets buzzing, and can’t think of anything worse than playing dodgem with the trolleys and crowds at the mega centres, so here are my 10 no brainer ideas for shopping locally this Christmas and ending up with better gifts, food and more enjoyment in the process!

  1. Buy your meat from a local butcher. Seriously, we have at least three of the best butchers in Perth nearby so there’s no reason to be standing in front of the meat counter at Coles. Whether it’s a traditional Christmas roast, Boxing Day barbie or an impromptu get together with friends, check out places like Mondo di Carne, Hampshire on Eighth or Torre’s for some of the best tasting meats you’re likely to find.
  2. Give the gift of reading. What better way to relax on your break or entertain the kids when they’re off screens than a book. Whether it’s a the real thing or a voucher so your loved ones can choose their own, you can’t go past Planet or Beaufort Street Books in Mount Lawley for their great advice and well curated selections. And for the reluctant readers? Check out Planet’s array of graphic novels.
  3. Go gourmet. Whether it’s to serve at your own table or give as gifts to the fam, there’s some amazing and tasty gourmet goodies at the Little Cheese Shop in Baysie, Black Pig in Inglewood or Smoults and Honey I’m Home in Maylands for not much more than what you’ll probably pay at Woolies or get in a Target hamper (no offence Target, but it’s not even close to being the same). And don’t forget to ask for what’s locally made!
  4. Breads and desserts. You’ve got Mary Street Bakery, New Norcia Bakery, the Woodfired Baker, The Pearl of Highgate, Chu, Lawleys – the list goes on! It’s once a year. Spoil yourself with the good stuff.
  5. Shout yourself some new clothes and/or accessories. I still buy my boys a new outfit for Christmas – my folks did it for me when I was young and it’s become a family tradition. Most retailers have some form of sale on already or alternatively, invest in a gift voucher and wait for the Boxing day sales. Check out Method Clothing, Department, Pearls in the City, Estrela (for special jewellery pieces), Jack Clothing, Elroy, Parfumi or Oli in Highgate/Mount Lawley, S2 and Shop 28 in North Perth or Lulu & Sasha, Look Feel Be or Avenue Apparel in Maylands.
  6. Something personal or for the home. Where to start?! Faves include Future Shelter and Unchartered Collective in North Perth, Daisy and Rowe in Maylands, Orno Interiors in Highgate, Ware in Mount Lawley and Yoke, La Luna and Mia Flora in Inglewood. And for gifts with a vintage twist, check out Vintage Emporium, So Last Century and Jungalow!
  7. Especially for kids. If you’re looking for something special for the cherubs in your life try Max & HOUND near the corner of Vincent & Beaufort Streets, SoSi (before it closes down) on Eighth Ave in Maylands and the gorgeous Stripey Horse in Mount Lawley (near Central Ave).
  8. Pamper a loved one. Nothing says I love you (or you look like crap and in need of a pick me up!) like a pamper session. Be it a gift voucher for a treatment at your favourite local beauty salon or a 90 minute specialist massage (as in not frequented by suspect looking types) from Wellness on BeaufortMuscle Moves on Walcott Street or Physical Focus at the Terry Tyzack Aquatic Centre.
  9. Breakfast/lunch/dinner on you! We love spoiling our buyers and sellers with a voucher to a local cafe, restaurant or small bar in the suburb they’ve just moved into. It’s usually as simple as calling or popping into your fave to get one. Soooooo much better (and more welcome) than a Coles/Myer voucher.
  10. A bottle (or two) of booze. My family knows that the present I love most is a good bottle of bubbles. Or Red. Or both. I’ve already bought myself my Christmas Day treat from deVine Cellars and Vintage Cellars in Mount Lawley and La Vigna in Menora are brilliant too. These are the places I go when I want to give a bottle of something as a gift but not something you’ll find in Dan Murphy’s. They all have some great boutique and lesser known labels that are no more expensive than what you’ll find in the chains and barns. And they’re all local and independently owned. Who knows, you could find yourself a new favourite!

So when it comes to the festive season, there’s no need to grit your teeth and contend with the masses at the nearest mega centre. Take your time, savour a quality coffee (or lunch) on the way and check out the fabulous stores that exist in our local suburbs, comfortable in the knowledge that you’re contributing to the sustainability of your community and the small businesses within it. Enjoy!

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Image credit: Beaufort Street Network and Artisan Market