The Ultimate South African Christmas Shopping List

Words: Robyn Samuels

Christmas is no longer around the corner, it’s officially on all our doorsteps, which means it’s time to flock to malls and do that last-minute Christmas shopping you’ve been dreading. We’ve made a list of classic South African items we can’t imagine Christmas without, and because no-one likes having to make a second trip to the store, we checked it twice.

From Appletiser to Quality Streets Sweets, here’s our ultimate Christmas shopping list.


Who doesn’t love Champagne on a cool drink budget?

Bakers Choice Assorted Biscuits

Reserved for VIP adults – don’t even think about touching these before Christmas.


I’m just here to stain the rice and potatoes on your plate.

Canned Peaches

We could eat these straight out of the can, that’s if mom didn’t need it all for the trifle. Best add an extra can to your Christmas shopping list.


Glaze me up and top with bacon bits for your festive table spread.

Easter Feasting
Recipe for Honey & Chilli Roasted Carrots with Bacon and Cashews

Cocoa Powder

Can’t make those Christmas Cupcakes for your guests without a little cocoa powder.

Nulaid Free Range Eggs

Colman’s Hot English Mustard

What are family gatherings without a bit of spice? Best served with ox tongue – YES.


It’s not only the festive season, it’s cherry season too, baby!

Make this Cherry-citrus Glazed Roast Duck.

Fresh Cream

Stay tuned for my yearly festive disappearing act. Seriously, good luck finding me.

Try this Festive Chocolate Truffle Trifle.

Flake Chocolate

The elusive Flake chocolate – the one item everyone needs for the ultimate trifle, but always forgets to buy up until the day of Christmas. Don’t be that person!


It wouldn’t be a South African Christmas without a gorgeous gammon, now would it?

Enjoy this Pomegranate Gammon with Za’atar Roasted Radishes.

Ideal Milk

If there’s enough to spare, add a dash of it to your coffee and give yourself a break in between Christmas cooking.

Leg of lamb

Merry is the festive table that features the leg of lamb.

Try this Greek-style Roast Leg of Lamb.

Mince Pies

Ah mince pies, the less popular raisiny cousin of hot cross buns, and equally abominated by trifle haters.

Peppermint Crisp

If you can’t stand layers of mushy trifle, add these minty choccies to your Christmas shopping list and make Peppermint Crisp Cups instead.


Rivalled by broccoli, Brussels sprouts and every other vegetable.

Make these Crispy Potjie Potatoes with Herby Horseradish Cream.

Quality Street Sweets

Stuff a handful in your pocket; if your family asks ‘what happened to all the Quality Street Sweets?’, wipe the chocolaty evidence off your hands and face.

UltraMel Custard

Squeeze ’til the very last drop; if you’re fresh out of custard, cut the bottle open and scoop every little bit – we don’t waste in this household!

Vanilla Ice Cream

I may be filled with ice cream this time, but don’t be fooled, I’m only here for the sticky toffee pudding. Post-Christmas I’ll be repurposed and filled with frozen soup.


Neglected on Christmas more than a middle child on any given day. *Friendly reminder, show some love to your veggies and middle children this festive season (in that exact order).

vegan recipes

Want a budget-friendly Christmas? Make these DIY Christmas Crackers for your guests.

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