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When the presents you placed underneath the tree fail to be the first picks of the bunch, you're really the only one to blame. Family, friends and stray Christmas-morning guests learnt a long time ago not to put any guilt on the chubby, white-bearded man who looks good in red. If you tend to pick disastrous gifts (we all have weaknesses), here are some stocking-filler ideas that won't let you or your loved ones down.

Gift Lady

Photo by Ben White

We would have called her Cindy Claus, but we see how this can sound corny. Consider the Gift Lady your own personal elves and reindeer. She packages, she delivers and most importantly — she selects. From champagne hampers to braai sets, soft toys to foot care kits, you don’t have to exhaust your mental capacity to come up with original gift ideas. Between her categories for teens, gents, ladies and kids, you’ve got yourself a Santa on speed dial.

Where: Online
More info: 0861 100 800; Facebook


The Scoin Shop

via Facebook

No one forgets the moment they struck gold. Some Christmases may mean more than others — first Christmas together, last Christmas before the baby comes, Christmas in your new home — and for those you need to dig a little deeper. The Scoin Shop is your go-to for authentic and certified Krugerrands. These beautiful, historic and investment-worthy pieces commemorate a year with special meaning.
Where: 4th flr, Atrium on 5th, Sandton City
When: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
More info: +27 (0) 11 784 8551; Facebook


How Thoughtful

Photo by Nathan Anderson

This is where you go when you want to be slightly deceitful (or just very clever) about how much time you devoted to selecting each person's extremely personal gift. How Thoughtful takes the concept of finely curated and creative gifting to another level. Chocolate Christmas trees, Christmas mail personalised Santa sacks, snowman snack stacks, reindeer mugs and pamper kits put the love and care back into the season of giving. Buying this way is like crafting a handwritten love letter — it just means so much more.
Where: Online
More info: +27 (0) 81 851 4209; Facebook


Mavungana Flyfishing

via Facebook

The superb thing about investing in someone else’s hobby is that you can treat them to something they feel is simply too indulgent to buy for themselves. The experts at Mavungana Flyfishing in Illovo will guide you so comprehensively in selecting the right rod, reel or fly that you’ll feel like a bit of a mountaineer yourself. It’s a personal environment where co-owner Derek Manson is so enthused about your gift ideas that you’ll swear he's the one on the receiving end. Isn’t that what fishing for gifts should always feel like?
Where: 3 Rivonia Rd, Illovo
When: Mon.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-noon
More info: +27 (0) 11 268 5850; Facebook


Whitmore Rare Books

via Facebook

For this one, we ventured across the oceans and quite a distance away from the City of Gold — but they deliver, so it really doesn’t matter. Whitmore Rare Books in Pasadena, California, is the Meryl Streep of literary collections: They’re as epic as you get. For those hallowed, collectible and show-off-able first editions, all you have to do is browse their mind-blowing selection. Think everything from signed Harry Potters to fine copies of Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway to childhood classics like The Cat in the Hat. For those who can get lost in bookshops and refuse e-readers, a mothball-smelling, yellow-paged original literary work of art is the designer bag of happiness.
Where: Online (and in Pasadena, CA)
More info: +1 626-297-7700; Facebook


Norman Goodfellows

via Facebook

Benjamin Franklin once said that wine is "constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” We share this philosophy and, thank heavens, so do the true connoisseurs at Norman Goodfellows. Carrie Adams, whom you may have heard on Classic FM and Radio 702, has a fairy godmother ability to bring forward the most exquisite wines from our own Cape Winelands as well as Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Tuscany and even Mount Etna. All you need to do is describe the person you’re buying for and she’ll find the liquid yin to their yang.
Where: 192 Oxford Rd, cnr Chaplin Rd, Illovo
When: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
More info: +27 (0) 11 788 4814; Facebook

By Suzette Leal

Suzette only stays at home to watch Orange Is The New Black. She limits her fluid intake to water, wine and champagne and she absolutely doesn't get the selfie trend. Burma is next on her to-do list. That, and salmon fishing in Iceland.