Unique gift ideas take the stress out of shopping

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In this sponsored post, “CityNews” shares inspiration for choosing special gifts for Christmas. 

WITH the days slipping away and less than three weeks until Christmas, there’s no avoiding it, it’s time to get some serious shopping done.

For those thinking about gifting an experience, something long-lasting and practical, or something fun with wheels for the outdoors, then look no further! This week “CityNews” takes the stress out of Christmas shopping by speaking with locals who have unique gift ideas that people are bound to love.

Emporium goes big for Christmas

UNLIKE any other Christmas shop, the Christmas Emporium has moved into an exciting and spacious new location on Gladstone Street in Fyshwick, says its owner Mike.

“The new space is much bigger and more accessible,” he says.

“People can take their time going around and enjoy the shopping experience.”

With Christmas items suited to any budget, Mike says the expanded shop has allowed him to offer a wider range of decorations such as trees, table linen, bon bons, nativity sets and a beautiful array of ornaments including pressed gold style and baubles by UK brand, Gisela Graham.

“We have a large amount of Christmas linen, including embroidered large tablecloths for eight to 10 seated tables, [too],” says Mike.

But right now, Christmas trees are a focus as people begin to decorate their homes, says Mike.

“We are noticing that larger trees are popular this year, especially ones that are already lit and don’t require any extra lighting,” he says.

“People are being more adventurous and varied in their tree choices this year.”

Mike says there’s been an increased interest in trees with a “flocked” snow-like effect rather than plain green ones.

Christmas Emporium at Hang Ups, 72 Gladstone Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 0312 or email info@hangups.com.au

Simulator lets anyone fly, anywhere

EVER fancied being the captain of a commercial jet plane, cruising over the Swiss Alps or making a tricky landing in a major city airport? A virtual flight with Jet Flight Simulator Canberra makes a unique Christmas present, where people can “fly” around the world without leaving town, says owner Trevor Vickers.

It’s as close to the real thing as it gets, he says, with a cockpit of screens and indicators that need to be monitored and all real-life aircraft check-lists required.

People can pretty much go anywhere they like, with 22,000 airports in the database, he says.

“Some people want to do daredevil stunts and fly under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or land in the old Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport,” says Trevor.

“Others want to fly along the Thames or go to Paris.”

Trevor says they have just moved the business from Fyshwick to North Lyneham, where there’s plentiful parking and it’s more accessible, being on the ground floor.

The flight simulator is based on the Boeing 737-800NG and is run by professional pilots who, Trevor says, will show “captains” a few of the basic checks and relevant features needed to be ready for take-off.

“For some people, it’s about piloting the plane, learning all about the primary controls, instruments and procedures, and for others it’s more about the sightseeing aspect,” Trevor says.

Jet Flight Simulator Canberra, 4 Montford Crescent, Lyneham. Call 0438 834026 or visit jetflightsimulatorcanberra.com.au

Practical gifts that are made to last

THERMA Quilts has practical gifts to last a lifetime, with its luxurious quilts, pillows and cushions that are made out of durable feather and down items, says a Therma Quilts spokeswoman.

Located in Mitchell, the seamstresses hand-make every item suited to the customer’s needs and provide a top-up service when quilts and pillows show signs of wear or loss of warmth and fluffiness, says the spokeswoman.

“Servicing of feather and down products is essential for keeping them in optimal condition for comfort,” she says. “With time and usage, body proteins and lipids (natural oils and perspiration) are absorbed on to quilt casings and into the feather and down inside.

“Over time, this build-up dampens the down, which causes it to lose its thermal resistance.” With its eco-friendly cleaning process, Therma Quilts services feather and down products including sleeping bags and clothing as well as other textiles such as silk, polyester, cotton and wool quilt underlays.

“Whether you’re wanting to rejuvenate your quilt, customise it or buy a new custom-made one we can look after you,” she says.

Therma Quilts, 10-12 Kemble Court, Mitchell. Call 6241 6859 or visit thermaquilts.com.au

David’s got scooters to ‘envy’

COOKIES Cycles is making gift buying easy by offering shoppers the option to layby items from the store’s large range of skateboards, scooters and bikes, says owner David Cook.

And he says he can store any items on layby right up to Christmas Eve.

“Now is the time to come in and layby for Christmas,” he says.

“We have the new ‘2020 Envy Prodigy Series 8’ scooters which are really popular.”

Cookies Cycles stocks everything from balance bikes and three-wheel scooters for the little ones, up to larger scooters to skateboards, mountain bikes, electric bikes and road bikes, BMX bikes for the racer as well as street and park riders.

“We’ve got folding electric bikes, low step and flat bar, and kits that you can use to convert your current bike into an electric bike,” says David, who’s been in the industry for 35 years, and opened the shop in September 2015 to cater for the family cyclist.

He says they also have a large range of parts and accessories for all the products they sell.

Cookies Cycles, 227 Flemington Road, Franklin. Call 6242 0338, email shop@cookiescycles.com.au or visit cookiescycles.com.au

Native market with growing gift ideas

THIS Saturday, December 7, Cool Country Natives in Pialligo is hosting a Christmas market, where expert growers from the region can share plant-inspired gift ideas.

Then, there will be more markets in the New Year on the first Saturday of February, March, April and May.

But if people want plants outside of the market dates, Cool Country Natives owner Karen Brien says they are Canberra’s only native plant retail nursery and are open seven days a week.

With a growing team of 10 knowledgeable staff, Karen says the whole team takes the time to happily talk to customers and help them with any queries.

Shoppers can find groundcovers, grasses, ferns, climbers and small-to-large shrubs and trees such as acacia, banksia, crowea, daisies, ferns and grevillea.

Cool Country Natives also stock and propagate a range of locally endemic species to the Canberra region.

“Native plants are drought hardy and the choice is getting bigger every year with the increase of good wholesale growers,” she says.

Karen says they give a discount to members of the Australian Native Plant Society and friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens. 

Cool Country Natives, 5A Beltana Road, Pialligo. Call 6257 6666 or 0402 307275, email retail@coolcountrynatives.com.au or visit coolcountrynatives.com.au

Stephen’s cars drive the holiday fun

CHEAP but reliable, Way2Fast’s owner Steve Bywater has new ready-to-go remote control cars that make the perfect Christmas present for all children and any adult that’s a kid at heart.

In the lead up to Christmas, Steve says he’s making sure all their remote control cars and flock car sets are even more affordable for the holidays by offering 10 per cent off these products, right up until Christmas Eve.

But if someone’s already got a remote control car that’s not working well and they’re trying to get it up-and-running, Steve says Way2Fast can service and repair them, too.

For other Christmas gift ideas, Steve also offers gift vouchers for racing slot cars at Way2Fast, where he says children will enjoy racing with family and friends on four different tracks, which range from four to eight lanes.

“We have 1:32 scale electric motor driven car tracks, which are driven by a hand controller,” says Steve.

Open seven days a week over the school holidays, Steve says Way2Fast will only be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

“We are happy for kids from five and up to have a go and it’s good fun for everyone,” Steve says.

He says Way2Fast is also Canberra’s largest retailer for slot cars and spare parts, offering more than 20 manufacturers such as Scalextric, SCX, Ninco, Revell, Slot it, Pioneer, NSR, Carrera, Parma and MJK.

Way2Fast, Unit 2/20 Essington Street, Mitchell. Visit way2fast.com.au or call 0424 453544.


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