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Whether we like it or not, Christmas is coming.

Now’s the time to buy presents and fly home for the Christmas Eve dinner for those whose work or life choices force them to live far away from their families.
Parents, girlfriends, uncles, cousins, friends…Too many relatives and parcels, too short a time and just hand luggage available.

But with some organisation and ingenuity you’ll find the perfect present for everyone and still keep your luggage light.

This is how.

GIFT CARDS, SUBSCRIPTIONS & Co. Gift cards and subscriptions are the holy grail of “light” presents: you can forward them via email when exchanging presents in electronic form or print them on A4 paper. One month of Netflix for your movie-buff uncle, a real Gordon Ramsay Masterclass for mum, or with Serena Williams for your brother’s passion for tennis, a photography magazine subscription for the cousin who’s just bought a new Reflex, or a subscription to a crossword magazine for puzzle-loving grandparents. So, you just need a computer, a spare half hour and some good ideas!

STRAIGHT TO YOUR DESTINATION. Online shopping once again, but this time for shipping straight to your destination. You know for sure where you’re going to be spending Christmas, so why not send all your presents there? Go wild and buy one of the latest Hi-Tech products, a trendy fashion accessory, a piece of furniture or design, the Man Booker Prize’s winning novel or one of our Alternative Guides! Some e-commerce outlets also offer you a “gift pack” … Another load off your mind!

HANDICRAFTS and FAIR TRADE. Which city hasn’t at least one local or craft product that you can package as an alternative present? And if there’s absolutely nothing that meets your taste, why not try an ethnic or fair trade store where you’ll definitely find some object that’s come a long way and has a story to tell. You don’t need to have recently visited the Middle East to buy a spice rack or Alto Adige to buy wood kitchenware, what matters is that you like them, as well as the person you bought it for.

TRIPS. An airline ticket, a visit to an art city, a trip to take in a concert by a favourite band are among the most welcome presents for wives, husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends, apart from being an excuse for catching up. Pick your destination, print out a detailed and romantic ticket and be ready to cash in the most grateful of smiles!

Merry Christmas, everyone!