Saturday, 3 December 2011

Three Freo places for finding your mum a Christmas present

With the arrival of our first baby just a few weeks away, my wife recently informed me that I'm going to be the one taking care of the Christmas presents this year.

No problem, I said, JB Hifi vouchers for all!  Of course, I should have been more reticent with the details.  My wife immediately put the kibosh on this idea, on the basis that the recipients would be able to quantify what a total cheapskate I am.

So, I've been given a list of shops to visit, together with rudely explicit instructions about what constitutes an appropriate minimum amount to spend.  In the interests of assisting any other retail-phobics with buying presents, here are my thoughts on the best places to buy presents this year.

Amaize, Fremantle Markets (opposite the Sail and Anchor)

At the risk of sounding like shopping for scented candle holders is something I enjoy, Amaize is actually a pretty good place for having a browse.  The interior is done up in a sort of 'French-chic' style and it has bits and pieces of everything, like cool office stuff, kitchen ware, handbags, novelty books, ornaments, and a good section of toys and activities for kids.

There's also a great range of funky jewellery, and it's decently priced (expect to pay something like $25 - $40 for a necklace).  Apparently woodland-creature motifs are in this season, if their selection was anything to go by. I really lucked out here by choosing an owl necklace for my mother-in-law, who my wife later informed me is going through an 'owl phase'.  My thoughtfulness in remembering this salient detail earned me lots of brownie points (I must have done a better job than I thought in not looking blank when she showered me with congratulations).

My nephew also scored here, with a book (complete with sound effects) on identifying farts, and a few wind-up toys for his stocking, and my mum got a colourful glass candle holder with cats on it.

My verdict: a great one-stop-shop for presents, especially for women, and not too pricey.

Remedy (High Street, opposite New Edition)

The interior of Remedy smells expensive, like organic body lotion manufactured in France, and it is - not exorbitant, but tending towards high quality / high priced items.  There's a eclectic range of jewellery, much of it from a small Melbourne brand, some old fashioned, wooden kids toys (which in my experience appeal more to the parent than the average 3 year old, who tends to prefer the noisy plastic variety), plus a wealth of arty, local, good quality homewares and decorations.

There's also a range of natural bath / beauty products, which, although kind of expensive (at a rough guess, $50 and up), at least have the virtue of looking it.  If I'm going to spend that much on soap, it had better scream class in every millimetre of its packaging.  I resisted actually testing the hand creams, etc, but a quick sniff confirmed that they were the source of Remedy's nice smell.

I got a very sleek carafe for my father-in-law here, which I know he'll like.

My verdict: good for show-off presents.

Corner Store (Market Street)

Corner Store is like Amaize's slightly richer, snootier cousin.  Also 'French-chic' in style, it's full of quirky kitchen ware, office trinkets and stationery, unusual toys, interesting perfumes and clothes - in essence, gifty type things.

I found a nifty note-holder for my brother here, and some perfume for my sister-in-law. The mums were also treated to a tea set each.

My verdict: another good one for the mums and sisters.

Thanks to these Freo shops, Christmas shopping for our mums can be a breeze.

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