Snappy title, huh? Good news humans of Greater Novocastria! It can be! I’ve compiled the following list of 10 ideas for Christmas that will get you thinking about ways to minimise your environmental and economical impact this Christmas whilst maximising the benefits of shopping locally for gifts and produce! Some of the items on the list include presents for loved ones, low impact (and cheap!) activities for the silly season, and fun food ideas for

fantas tic (and frivolousless) feasts!

1. Cards. Everyone should have a hand-made Christmas card this season! You can make your own or purchase a locally designed and printed greeting from a number of small businesses including The Olive Tree Markets, Blue Star Elements, Blackbird Corner, or Shop Steel City. Shop Steel City also offers an on-the-spot custom card creation service for something 100% one of a kind and unique!

2. Team Sports. Cricket, Soccer, Footy, Netball, and Basketball are fun and involve the whole family (and any strays you gather over the holidays)! Family and friends who play together, stay together!

3. Music. Instead of giving your brother another JB Hi-Fi Gift Card, treat him to a stash of local music! There are hundreds of local artists with EPs and full album releases in Newcastle, including Riley & Donna, De’May, Kaye, Prem Bedlam, Rubix Cuba, and more! Stalk local bands via Facey or check out White’s Records on Hunter Street! For a cute and quirky idea, make your own “Local Gig Giftcard” loaded eftpos card for the recipient to use on live music in the Hunter!

4. Sangria icecubes. You heard me. Step one: Make Sangria, Step two: Freeze Sangria in icecube trays. You’re welcome. (While you’re at it, freeze some grapes! Om nom!)

5. Furry Friends. We all know the rules about giving pets for Christmas (they’re forever, not just December)! If you

ARE ready to welcome a furry friend into your home this holiday season, why not consider adopting a critter from a refuge or fostering an animal? There are many overflowing animal care centres in Newcastle who would love to introduce you to someone special.

6. Board Sports. There’s no better place for enjoying the H2O or pavement than Newcastle. With amazing beaches and pristine Lake Macquarie, why not take advantage of the many stockists of bodyboards and surfboards in our Steel City? Solid Bodyboard Shop in Charlestown, K-Stars in Adamstown, Sanbar in the Junction, and Newcastle Skate Shop are just a few of the locally owned and operated places to pick up your new ride!

7. Threads. You’re not anyone in this town unless you’re making tees! Get some serious Steel City swag from local designers at The Lair, Nookstore, Guanabana, Scout, and many more in The Mall and on Darby Street.

8. Explore your City! Do you have visitors coming from out of town? Have them give you a guided tour of Newcastle complete with “historical” (hysterical?) narration. You’ll be amazed at what you find looking at your local through the lens of a tourist!

9. Park Sledding. Let’s be honest. Your niece is going to enjoy the box that the doll came in just as much, if not more than the doll itself. Cut to the chase and just give her the cardboard! Then take her to King Edward park to slide down the hills! Best aunty / uncle award goes to you, sunshine!

10. Love. Just love. Write a letter, sing a song, cuddle, kiss... Cheesy, but so true - the real gift is presence, not presents. Have an honest conversation with your family, tell your friends how much they mean to you, pass your number to the cute barista at Suspension Cafe. It’s the little things that matter at Christmas.

Tune in on our Facebook page Steel City Collective from the 1st of December as we bombard you with more fun Christmas ideas every day in the lead up to the 25th or drop in to the shop to chat!

Merry Christmas,

Eryn With a Why! xx