Gift guide & giveaway: It's my first grown-up Christmas! | 9Lives
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Gone are the carefree days of my mom and dad cooking up a storm for Christmas while my brother and I try to catch a peek of our Christmas presents ahead of time, making way for a new season in my life. I’m getting married in March and for Christmas, we have decided to slow things down and stay in Stellenbosch to start creating our own Christmas traditions.

This, at first, sounded idyllic, romantic, and cosy, but as Christmas is drawing closer, I’m feeling the pressure of wanting our first Christmas together to be perfect. So as I’m planning my menu of turkey (yes, the fiancee’s request), an assortment of Instant Pot grains, and a new spin on the traditional trifle, I’ve put together a few things that I would love to receive this Christmas.

And although most of these items make it to the list because I’d love to make our first Christmas alone as special as possible, the real gift is being able to spend time together as we embark on this new journey together.

The gift of time

Romantic weekend away for two
Blue Cow Barrydale

I love nothing more than some one-on-one time with the person I love. Being in a long-distance relationship for the last three years has truly taught me the meaning of gifting someone time. That, for me, means not only checking in with my SO daily but also making time between business travels and family engagements to spend quality time with each other which is crucial for building a healthy, lasting relationship.

Giving someone a weekend away, giving them some of your time is, to me, the perfect gift. We’ve teamed up with the Blue Cow in the picturesque little town of Barrydale on Route62 to give a lucky 9Lives reader and their partner the opportunity to gift each other some time in 2020.

Click here to enter to win a weekend for two at The Blue Cow in Barrydale. The prize includes two nights’ accommodation and breakfast, as well as a dinner at the famous Mez Karoo Kitchen.

Welcome drinks

Blanc de Blancs Méthode Cap Classique 2014
Earlier this year, my brother went on a camping and hiking trip in the Cederberg. While there, he visited the Cederberg wine farm and fell in love with this 2014 vintage MCC. Knowing that I share his love of bubbles, he gifted me this delicious, creamy and award-winning bottle of bubbles and I’ve been addicted to it ever since. Described as “Strings of dainty pearls in liquid gold”, this gift is a must if your family, like mine, loves to pop some bubbly even when there is nothing to celebrate.


The big prep

Assorted flavoured olive oils
Willowcreek Olive Estate
My soon to be mother-in-law recently took a trip to the Nuy wine valley and stumbled upon the Willowcreek estate. Being a foodie herself, she splurged on some of these flavoured oils and I was lucky enough to sample a few from her. These oils are so versatile and add a depth of flavour to my cooking that I cannot stop raving about them. or Christmas, I’ll honestly be so chuffed if I am able to collect the entire range.


Time to dish up

Clean Black and Gold Salad Server Set
I’m just a girl, standing in front of a salad server set, asking it to adorn my Christmas table. My sister-in-law sent me a link to this beautiful, minimalistic salad set and I’ve had my eye on it ever since. This is quite a sophisticated change for me, as I usually favour more handmade colorful items. I am leaning towards a more simplistic colour scheme this Christmas and Poetry has a whole range of items I’m putting on my wishlist.


Sweet surrender

Warm Milk & Elderflower Cookies
On my recent trip to Amsterdam, I fell in love with their signature Delft style and since then I’ve been looking for ways to sneak the look into my home decor, jewellery and even my wedding. I saw this cookie tin online and was immediately hooked – it’s just so beautiful! I grabbed one, without giving the contents a second thought but as soon as I opened the tin in the office and passed some tasters around, I realised that the cookies are actually the best part. Beautifully soft and not too sweet, the texture is actually very similar to shortbread and perfect with some Earl Grey tea.



Free State-girl, living in Stellenbosch. Love to explore small towns, read in Afrikaans and everything pop-culture. My favourite yoga move is 'The Pigeon' and one day I'd like to own my own vintage cinema.

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