HOLLY WAINWRIGHT: The things I love enough to buy my best mate for Christmas.

It's cool to say you don't want presents, thanks. Especially now, when there's really not a lot of extra money floating around any of our lives. Also, us grown-ups give Christmas over to their children. "Just buy for the kids," we say. "I don't need anything." 

No, maybe you don't, but there are plenty of women in my life who DESERVE something. And there might be one in yours who does, too. Maybe she's running about getting everyone else a present and on the big morning she'll be standing back with a cup of tea, pretending it's cool that there's nothing wrapped up for her. IT's NOT.

So, if there are any dollars in the budget for an extra-ace friend in your life, here are a few suggestions for things she'd love to get. Because, let's face it, I would.

Speaking of Christmas and therefore... holidays... watch the horoscopes at the airport. Post continues below.

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A really fancy moisturiser.

Skincare is a bit of a weird present. It could be construed as pass-ag: "Here, have you thought about doing anything with your hyper-pigmentation for Christmas?" But personally, I love bougie skincare, and I can't always afford it, and nor can you. So if you are in a place to splurge for your friend, or if there's a gift voucher in your life that needs using up (oh, the joy!) a really luxe moisturiser is a good choice.


It's self care, it feels good, and it comes in a pretty jar. 

Here are two of my absolute favourite spendy creams:

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream, $104.

Vitamin C has been a game-changer for my skin this year. The word "glow" gets thrown around a lot, but that's because we all want it. This glorious pot of goodness gives it to me. It's a rich but light, glide-on dose of glowy, sun-damage-fading, nourishing luxury. I don't do much to my face except love it with skincare, and it looks like the face of a 51-year-old woman, I know. But since I've been diligent with my Vit C, it looks like the face of a 51-year-old woman who can glow under the right conditions. Provide the right conditions.

Sunday Riley C.E.O. moisturiser. Image: Supplied. 

 Emma Lewisham Supernatural Face Cream, $150


I know, I know, it's a LOT. Emma Lewisham is a New Zealand brand that makes seriously beautiful, luxurious skincare. It's also got proper eco-creds, so if that's important to your giftee, you'll get extra brownie points. The gorgeous packaging makes it feel special, and everything comes in refills, so you don't have to ever biff out a jar of Supernatural. But the reason it's a gorgeous spendy present is that it works. Supernatural is a rich, all-rounder day cream, and I have been leaning into a proper heavy-duty moisturiser a lot this year. It also promises 72 hours of hydration. Look, I never go that long without whacking some cream on my face, but maybe your bestie is a minimalist.

Spendy but so good. Image: Supplied.

 A smelly candle that doesn't stink.


I know there are people who poo-poo candles as presents but I'm not one of them. As long as they're gorgeous. Lighting a beautiful, subtle candle is what I do in my She Shed every time I tell myself I'm about to write something profound. It's a lie but one I'm happy to go with. I can't afford the really fancy ones (hello, Diptyque, maybe in another life), but I've found some small Aussie business goodies that am very happy to buy for myself or my friends.

Greatfool Crystal Candles, $64.

Greatfool is an Aussie label that makes my favourite non-jean pants. You'll see them on my Instagram about once a week. But also, they make really interesting homewares. Versatile, I know. 

They have these candles with crystals embedded in them that come in sturdy, angular glasses that can easily do duty as a wine or cocktail glass when the candle is no more. They look as good as they smell. My favourite one is Lock, Stock & Smoky Quartz, but Citrine and The Queens is also top-notch. 

Looks great. Smells great. Image: Supplied.


Or one that makes you laugh.

I discovered Nonna's Grocer candles this year and they are the cutest. Interestingly, they don't smell. They just look EXACTLY like whatever fruit, vegetable or foodstuff they are modelled on. There are grapes, avocado. A stick of butter, a burrata... you get the picture. Great present. 

My one is this one, and here it is in my house: 

Nonna's Grocer Orange Candle, $38.

Just don't eat it. Image: Supplied.

And while we're at it, these woo-woo wine glasses.


I literally bought these for my mate last Christmas, and am thinking of spreading the love this year. Greatfool again, with their gorgeous big glasses (they do white sized and red sized) with crystals in the stem. You can get a mixed set of four with different crystals in the stem, or you can do what I did for my friend the basic rose lover (not knocking it, love a rose) and buy a two-pair with rose quartz through the stems.

Greatfool Rose Quartz Crystal Stem Wine Glasses, $89.


This gardening belt.

Some people are tragic, like me. They like to grow things in their garden. People who don't grow things in their garden don't understand them, but they need pressies, too. They don't have enough hands and are always trying to find their snippy things to snip things with. Enter this glorious accessory – the Le Sac Gardening belt. Look, my kids laugh their heads off at me in it, but believe me, when I'm in my cap and my gardening belt and I'm fiddling about with green things, I'm living my best damn life. Spread the joy... 

Le Sac Garden Belt (in Red), $75.95.

My favourite belt. Image: Supplied.


The Book Of The Year.

I've read lots of great books this year. My mate Jessie Stephens wrote a doozy of a thoughtful, unshakable novel about young women and mental health called Something Bad Is Going To Happen, and I would buy that for plenty of sensitive people in my life. I would buy Bright Shining by Julia Baird for anyone with a soul. I would buy Sally Hepworth's Darling Girls for anyone who wants to be swallowed up by a page-turning story, and I would buy Yellow Face for any smart young writer who wants to understand book world with a side of cancel culture.

But, this is the Book Of The Year for me. And the thing is, it wasn't even this year, actually, it was last. But I read it this year, and this year it won (jointly) the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. So this year will do.


Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, $20.75.

Perfect beach read. Image: Supplied. 

 "Demon" Copperhead is a young boy growing up in Appalachia, the enormous mountainous middle of America largely dismissed as "hillbilly country" by the kind of culture that comes out of NYC and LA (eg: the kind of American culture most of us consume). His region, and his family and community, has been smashed by dying industry and is about to be smashed again, this time by the opioid crisis you have doubtless heard plenty about. When Demon's mum dies of an overdose and his stepdad turns out to be a predictable kind of monster, Demon is cast into the foster care system, until he decides to cast himself out of it, and go off to try to build himself a life. This book is so extraordinarily beautiful, brilliant, affecting, powerful, funny... all of the adjectives, I don't think there's a reading person you know who wouldn't find a way to love it. Kingsolver writes with such open-hearted, non-judgemental knowledge of this world, because it is hers. My book of the year. 

A perfume that won't cost you three days' rent.

You know that smell you're smelling everywhere? It's kind of musky but also kind of sweet. It transports you to the lobbies of hotels you can't afford to stay at. It's called, I think Baccarat Rouge, and it's very fancy, very French and very expensive. Yeah, that, but not that.

Who Is Elijah is an Aussie perfume company that makes beautiful, clean (by clean, we mean vegan) fragrances in simple, elegant packaging. And Nomad is their smell that rivals THAT French one. Jasmin, almond, saffron, apparently. I think this small handbag size is a brilliant gift, because you (oops, I mean they) can just carry it about and spritz like crazy. 


Who is Elijah is available online (of course) and at Sephora. But they're also in Priceline now, which means... often on special. THIS is the scent you're smelling everywhere. And it's goooood

Who Is Elijah Nomad EDP, $49 (10ml).
Smells sweeter when it doesn't cost the world. Image: Supplied.

Okay. I'm done. These are my current, Oprah-esque favourite things. What are yours?

Feature image: Supplied.

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