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Mon Oct 24 03:32:40 SAST 2016

Xmax markets: Yule be sorry if you miss it

Yolisa Mkele and Andrea Nagel | 19 October, 2016 08:18
BRANCH OFFICE: Beechwood Gardens Charity Lunch beats the mall hands down

You may not have heard them yet, but the Christmas shopping bells have begun to toll. As a general rule festive shopping is the devil's work.

Between the mark-ups, queues and excessive displays of red and green that one can expect from the usual retail experience, it is easy to just throw your hands up and buy everyone a pair of socks.

PYJAMARAMA: Find Christmas prezzies galore at Kamers Vol Geskenke in Irene, Pretoria

Happily there are a number of Christmas markets at hand to make your gift hunt more bearable and ensure that you come away with something vaguely unique. Here are some of the best options:

27 Boxes Night Market

Half of the problem with Christmas shopping is finding the time to do it. For many people, the majority of one's day is spent festering in a cubicle wishing your office WiFi was faster.

Realising that this raises complications for some, the organisers of 27 Boxes have given customers a chance to sample their wares after office hours.

Launching tonight, the 27 Boxes Night Market will offer craft trinkets in conjunction with music, food and art - thus providing an alternative to landing up in the local dive bar nursing a beer and listening to the tale of Debbie from accounts and her recalcitrant cat.

  • Runs every Wednesday evening from 5pm-9pm, 76 4th Avenue Melville. For more information visit


Beechwood Gardens Charity Lunch

Few things could be more relaxing than doing your Christmas shopping in the South African version of Mr D'Arcy's garden - and this year's Beechwood Gardens Charity Lunch gives you the chance to do just that.

Aside from a gourmet alfresco meal under magnolia trees, the lunch will offer a buffet of Christmas gifts as well as a chance to tour the gardens and rub shoulders with fancy people.

  • October 22-23 at Beechwood Gardens in Hyde Park. Entrance is R320 with proceeds going to charity. Bookings are essential. Contact


Glenshiel Christmas Fair

You hardly need another reason to wander the magnificent Glenshiel grounds overlooking the rolling purple Jacaranda sea that Joburg becomes at the end of October.

But the Glenshiel Christmas Fair offers a few extras on sale: A selection of wines auctioned in the car park, linen, ceramics, gourmet foods, shoes, clothing, jewellery, decor, designer bags, swimwear, plants, belts, beadwork, toys, scarves, Christmas cakes and puddings and decorations.

You can enjoy delicious drinks and food in the garden and it's all in aid of charity.

  • 19 Woolston Road, Westcliff from October 28-30; times vary; adults R50, children under 12 free; ticket valid for the duration of the fair

Kamers Vol Geskenke:

As one of the biggest nomadic markets in the country, Kamers Vol Geskenke has become a Mecca for those in search of locally sourced bric-a-brac.

Stocking everything from handmade jewellery and lace-pressed porcelain to local fashion designs, Kamers (as it is known) is a nifty way to make sure you get something that whispers "thoughtful".

Couple that with a splash of music and hearty serving of foodie-friendly treats and it is hard to see why one would pop into a mall for your Christmas debt-growing exercise.

  • Irene, Pretoria from November 28 to December 4 from 9am-5pm daily. Prices range from R50-R100 with discounts for children, students and the elderly,

Parkview Christmas Market

Now in its 10th year, the Parkview Christmas Market is more family friendly than the latest Disney movie. While there are all manner of bits and bobs on sale the main focus of the market is on charity and putting on a show. As such there will be plenty of entertainment from school choirs to Spanish dancing and marimbas. There will also be a number of community outreach programmes that one can sign up for. Oh and don't forget their famous champagne and oysters.

  • November 25-27 at George Hay Park in Parkview. For more information visit


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