Christmas stopped being fun when we became responsible for giving other people gifts. But there’s also a small thrill that comes with nailing it perfectly, the glee in the recipient’s eyes when they realize that they’ve gotten something they don’t actually have to re-gift. We know how we feel when we open that kind of gift.
For Christmas this year, we compiled a gift guide featuring local small businesses that are perfect for (almost) every person in your life. From healthy food baskets, fashion-forward e-commerce platforms, to bedsheets that’ll make the at-home holidays feel even more cozy, this list has got it. Fair warning: you’ll probably want to gift these to yourself, but who can blame you?
For the friend intent on their New Year resolutions
With Christmas coinciding with the end/start of the year, we all have a friend who’s intent on making the most out of their annual resolutions. It could be a resolution to eat healthier, so the gift packages by food delivery service Isabel’s would be a good place to begin. The Isabel’s Christmas Care Box A at ₱1,600 features their bestselling Queso De Bola Crisp, chips, bibingka, and two kinds of dressing (the chips and salsa verde make a great combo.) For the friend who would like to spend the next year learning how to chill out (don’t we all), yoga instructor and L’Officiel Philippines beauty editor Belle Rodolfo offers virtual yoga classes that start at ₱550 for one private session.
For your hip creative friend
Who knows what 2022 will bring, more time at home? Allow us to cozy up, then. For your creative friends who enjoy browsing through Insta for interior inspiration, this Day Off Home Goods’ Cloud Nine Throw by designer Kookie Santos quite literally adds a splash of color to any comfy couch. If your creative bestie is more of the type to dress up indoors (or out, really), online retailer Basic Movement offers a great selection of wares by local designers. Shop for illustrator Raxenne Maniquiz’s Waling Waling collection that offers Bulacan-crafted jewelry, scarves, and shirts in her signature art style. Designer Rod Malanao’s fantastic knit work is also available on this site — we suggest the lime coords for some Grinch-y glamour. (Take note that many of the pieces on the site are for pre-order.)
For your first post-omicron out of town trip
We’re all waiting for the go-signal to feel okay about going out of town after the holiday rush. In the meantime, you may want to put yourself in the right mindset with a suit from new local brand Every Body. The swimwear retailer has made it a challenge to be truly size-inclusive, offering suits from 2XS up to 5XL. Their first offering is the Feeling Perky Bodysuit (₱1,999) in three colors: pearl, sherb, and cherry, and will be available for purchase starting Dec. 15. The bodysuit is a two-piece illusion that hugs you in all the right places, and works well for the pool, the beach, or on the street as a tank top alternative.
And because being out in the sun means having to keep your skin protected, gift a friend (or yourself) a nice skincare bundle from multi-brand site The Collective. Their Ho Ho Holy Grails kits have bundles that feature items like their bestselling gua sha and the Pestlo Saferecipe, a 2-in-1 moisturizer and sunscreen. Bundles start at ₱1,750 and will make any travel kit feel more complete.
For the mom friend
The older we get, the more we believe in the power of thread counts. Consider giving the mom friend of your life some nice sheets from Home de Luxe — a local company that produces five-star hotel quality linens from Cabuyao, Laguna for home use. Their Hotel Collection, with 500 thread count cotton sateen sheets will make any bed feel like it comes with a buffet breakfast. (A duvet cover set for a single bed in their Hotel Collection starts at ₱7,299.) They also have printed varieties, but the all-white sets evokes a real hotel stay. To truly set the mood for a friend who’s always there no matter what, the iridescent candles by Lev would make a perfect gift. Even if they never light it up (“kasi sayang,” as all moms/mom friends would say), it’ll be a pretty piece to keep on one’s bedside table.
For the Capricorn friend who always gets one gift on Christmas
For the poor Capricorns in your life who always end up getting one gift for Christmas and their birthday, make it up to them with Lokal Lab’s Sustainable Islands Playing Cards (₱850), a deck of cards featuring designs by various local artists. The cards are currently sold out, but will be restocked in January — just in time to wish your Cap friend a very happy birthday.
For anyone and everyone special in your life
If you’re looking for gifts that will spread cheer beyond your intended recipient, UNICEF is offering a Christmas Card Box designed by Robert Alejandro, award-winning graphic artist, illustrator, painter and crafter, and also one of the pillars of the Filipino arts and crafts shop Papemelroti. Each set includes 12 cards in four designs and costs ₱1,000. Every purchase will go towards giving Filipino children education opportunities, healthcare and nutrition, and life-saving vaccines.