Some people are impossible to please.
Hubby doesn't have hobbies, so choosing a Christmas gift is like having teeth pulled without painkillers.
Even worse, he comments on my choice: "Diving lessons. Great, but when am I going to find the time?"
So, I've come up with a solution. And it might just work for your family, too.
If, like us, you love to travel, why not buy stuff for the next trip?
This is my top five:
BEACH-GOERS Ah, a day at the beach. What could be more relaxing? Wrong. Once you lug all the boogie/surf/paddle boards, buckets and spades, towels, hats and thongs, you're too bloody tired to swim. Then, there's the cumbersome umbrella. Well, fear not. The good folks at California's NesoTents.com have brought their UPF 50+ stakeless sunshades to Australia's shores. Weighing less than two kilos, it packs neatly into a small shoulder bag.
HAPPY SNAPPERS You know those holiday social media snaps you never look at again? Why not sneak onto your loved ones' devices to grab a couple of Instagram pics from a recent trip? Photo block is a thick square wooden block, which is an alternative to the traditional photo frame. You can also put the images on an iPhone or iPad case. It's all on photobox.com.au.
ART-LOVERS Adult colouring-in books are being produced in plague-like proportions. But, unlike locusts, they serve a purpose: killing time during the journey. (And relaxation, of course.) The arttapi.com.au On The Go range is full of small sketches of exotic locations, such as Bora Bora, Glacier Bay and Lake Louise. You and the kids can dream about your next destination. Ahhhh…
GAME-PLAYERS Trivia Crack is the most downloaded game in the world, and it's G-rated (believe it or not). Players spin the wheel for a selection of fun and educational questions, accompanied by animated characters. The Australian version even has questions about The Wiggles. Check out triviacrack.com. If old-fashioned games are more your speed, IKEA's new LATTJO range includes the Tangram Puzzle, which improves spatial awareness, and Kalaha Game, for cognitive and fine motor skills. These are ideal for long car trips or plane flights.
CRUISERS Why not go the whole hog and buy the family a holiday for Christmas? For the festive season a few years ago, we went on a Captain Cook Cruise around the Yasawa Island in Fiji. Snorkel in aquamarine waters, picnic on remote beaches, and enjoy cocktails on the deck while the kids splash in the pool. And you only have to unpack once. You can buy a gift certificate for the Reef Endeavour until the end of November, on cruises through to March, half-price. Small ships work well for multi-generational travel, so why not shout Nan or Pop? The deal is here: captaincookcruisesfiji.com.
These suggestions take the stress out of Christmas shopping and add magic to your summer holidays.
Now I've got to decide which one to get for hubby. Maybe I'll just give him this column, to buy stuff for me instead…