Christmas gifts from the heart, not the hip pocket

Miki Perkins   Undies and socks, cans of tuna and boxes of cereal. Not likely to top any glossy Christmas list but very much on the mind of two Melbourne school children - Taj, 10, and Sage, 8. As the yuletide juggernaut rolls around for another year, people across Melbourne are dreaming up inventive ways of spreading altruistic cheer. Taj and Sage decided to remodel their family’s bike carrier into a trailer and use it to pick up much-needed Christmas donations like basic foodstuffs and underwear for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. They distributed 150 handmade flyers asking for donations to people in their local neighbourhood in Alphington and returned on their bikes a week later for pickup, which included cards from neighbours who congratulated them on their effort. Indy Lingham had often told his two sons the story of a young man who to Australia as a refugee, escaping through deserts and mountains until at last finding sanctuary. In his case, the young man was not a Biblical figure but a refugee called Mohamm

Awkward '80s photos are cool this Christmas

Kayla Wilson

Carolyn Webb   Melbourne Central shopping centre has ditched the traditional photos with Santa display this Christmas, in favour of an Awkward Photo Booth that is proving a hit.

The top 10 best men's gifts for Christmas

Beau Donelly   There's only days to go.. So if you still haven't bought the special man/men in your life a Christmas present you might want to get onto that. But before you go and drop $55 on a belt and a novelty mug, stop and read our top 10 gift list.

The top 10 coolest toys for Christmas

<i>Frozen's</i> Elsa and Anna

Tammy Mills   Top 10 coolest toys for Christmas

'Tis the season for awkward questions

Elderly woman, close up, portrait

Jessica Martin   I think we can all agree that the only thing more fun than plastering on a fake smile while ohhing and ahhing over the ridiculous tea towel your great aunt has just given you, is answering the sorts of awkward questions that inevitably abound over Christmas lunch.

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Dating sites gear up for Christmas rush

Private eyes running checks on online lovers

Caroline Schelle   Dating websites expect to double their registrations between Christmas and the new year as lonely hearts sign up looking for a soul mate for 2014.

A lesson in excess

What the Kardashians can teach us about Christmas

kim kardashian christmas card

Alice Williams   The Kardashian clan has outdone themselves this year, with a Christmas card that cost $250,000 to produce.

Mock meal

How to fake a good Christmas

Christmas lunch, dinner.

Susannah Singh   Christmas is not festive without feasting. If you can't make it, fake it.

Handmade with love

The joy of edible gifts

Fruit mince pie.

Jane Holroyd   For the edible gift-giver, the Christmas countdown starts now, writes Jane Holroyd.

Welcome mat

Make holiday guests feel at home

Welcome mat.

Ensure a stress-free holiday period for both you and your guests with these simple hosting rules of thumb.


Stress less

Surviving a family Christmas

Christmas face-off ... take a step back from the stress.

Natalie Reilly   How to manage your relatives and reduce your stress this Christmas.

Present tense: coping with dud Christmas gifts


Bellinda Kontominas   We've all received them. Those inappropriate, ill-conceived or lacklustre Christmas presents that leave you wondering, just what in Santa's name were they thinking?

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Packaging perfection

How to wrap a gift

Woman wrapping a gift, present.

Step-by-step instructions for beautiful Christmas presents.

Light Christmas

10 steps to a healthy Christmas

Berry pavlova

Enjoy the season while staying slim and trim. Here's how.

Good gifts

Christmas gift ideas for Dad

Feet up, colourful socks, novelty, manager, office worker, lazy, free time, relaxation, relaxing.

Andrea Black   Forget socks. Get your dad something he'll really love this year.

Seasonal cheer

Simple pleasures best at Christmas

Cheyenne Tozzi

Shelly Horton   'Tis the season. But survey found 85 per cent of people just want more time with their family and friends rather than extravagant presents.

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Happy holidays

Tips for a stress-free Christmas

Santa Claus

Strategies to let you chill out and enjoy Christmas.

Handmade heaven

DIY Christmas Gifts

Gingerbread biscuits.

Affordable and personal, homemade gifts are always welcome at Christmas.

Festive fails

Dos and don'ts of lovers' gifts

Christmas gift guide

Annabel Ross   In the spirit of the silly season, we've comprised a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to Christmas shopping for your lovers.

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The perfect ... Christmas treat

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Kate Gibbs   A spicy fruit-and-nut-packed panforte is not only delicious, it makes a heartfelt homemade gift.