The festive season is upon us and Christmas demands everyone to participate in gift exchanges. The gift you give and the one you’re soon to receive aren’t dependent on your behaviour throughout the year, even if you’ve been naughty or nice.
With this list you won’t go down as “that person who gives terrible gifts”, allowing you to enjoy another year surrounded by friends and family, without getting judged for your lack of taste. What’s better than not being a social reject?
Here are 12 last minute gift ideas to save your skin:
1. The Go To Basic Uniqlo T-shirts
What would all men do without the Japanese retail giant Uniqlo? I’d have 50% less clothing than I have in my wardrobe. I think it’s safe to say that this gift idea would resonate with so many people. With $20 you’ll be able to pick out two basic t-shirts and have enough change to buy chicken rice.
The packaged Uniqlo t-shirts come in a variety of colours and has popped up on the wishlist of multiple secret Santa recipients this year, so I’ve got a good feeling about these necessary pieces of clothing.
2. Freshly Pressed Socks
Give the gift of colourful feet, no not fungal infections, because those can get pretty colourful too. I’m talking socks. Not your typical black socks, but socks with colours that pop and designs that rock.
Have some fun wearing socks with uncommon prints, patterns and colours that pop and add contrast to an outfit. Local brand sock brand Freshly Pressed offers an affordable option compared to brands like Stance, so you won’t break the bank if gifting footwear with attitude.
3. Casio Digital Watch F91W-1S (NS Watch)
If you’re looking for the Nokia of watches, Casio watches fit the bill. The type every Singaporean son will come across or own during their national service are your best bet. But where can I buy one you say? Lazada that’s where, the miracle of online shopping — some will debate that it’s a bigger miracle than Christmas itself, will save you from searching at neighbourhood watch shops.
These things are the closest thing to indestructible, and their batteries seem to last forever. It makes a great gift for those who are active, always outdoors or travelling, because it’s cheap and it isn’t a nice shiny target for muggers. Hey, there’s one in fancy pink for that couple that love all things matchy, perhaps?
4. Muji Notebooks
Everyone can use a notebook. For doodles and notes, it’s the best thing to get for that person who’s always always doodling or taking notes down in paper and pen. I once received a stack of notebooks from Muji and couldn’t have been happier.
With a $20 budget you could buy more than a year’s supply worth of notebooks with stationary to accompany them. This one’s for the old souls and that one person that enjoys their time alone with their thoughts.
5. Calligraphy Pens From Tokyu Hands
Calligraphy is back in style and are all the rage among the arty farty or those looking to add another dimension to their doodle game. Calligraphy markers or pens have tips that help add flair to the most random of words written in cursive. TOKYU HANDS Singapore carries pens of varying tip densities and colours. More than enough to keep that penmanship junkie occupied for some time.
6. Tripp’s Tipples Wine And Spirit Infusions
Wine was already great on it’s own — be it having it on my own, or sharing with people I call friends. But, wine infused with spices like cinammon, rock sugar and dried slices of citrus fruit is Christmas I can drink all year.
Tripp’s Tipples started as a Kickstarter project and is now retailing at We The People Store at Orchard Central. In the business of selling infusions that make consuming alcoholic beverages more fun, their current infusions for mulled wine and a whisky infusion called rock and rye are full of the Christmas spirit.
7. Stuff From Sephora
I’m not going to kid anyone, there’s no way I’ll be able to recommend a specific product from Sephora. Sailing into uncharted waters, this is the retail Bermuda Triangle. Both men and women walk into Sephora and will never survive coming out empty handed.
Asking around, I’ve been told that gifts from Sephora are a fail safe option for the ladies. However, before buying a specific cosmetic product, brand, hue or colour, make sure you know your recipient’s taste well enough. If you don’t, gift vouchers work just as well.
8. Tea From 1872 Clipper Tea
From the naturally non caffeinated fruits and flowers to timeless classics, tea isn’t quite as a punch to the face as coffee and is usually easy to drink. Caffeine in tea doesn’t go off like a bomb unlike coffee, so it’s perfect for those looking for a pick-me-up without the intense high.
Local brand like 1872 Clipper Tea offers a variety of quality teas under that easily make the $20 price cap.
9. Coffee From Hook Coffee
We couldn’t mention tea without coffee. The second most traded commodity after oil, this is black gold I really dig. And with hipsters giving rise to a slew of cool and quirky sounding blends there’s not been a better time to have been addicted to coffee.
Now you could give a bag of local kopi grounds for a truly Singaporean coffee inspired gift. But, if you’re afraid of being marked as a cheapo Singapore has enough artisanal roasters and indie coffee houses for you to choose from.
Folks like Hook Coffee bring joy to the season of giving, by joy I mean caffeine. Soul warming black coffee that hits all the right spots and will brighten the day of the greenest grinch.
10. Craft Beer From Thirsty Craft Beer Shop
You’re not going to get far with booze on a budget of $20, so you better make it a bit more special. Thirsty Craft Beer Shop has quite the collection of craft beers from across the globe. From IPAs to stouts you’ll find it here.
You’ll be able to squeeze two bottles of beer if you put some effort into it, which is enough to make some people forget their woes. Now what could be better than that.
11. Books Hot From Math Paper Press
My favourite presents have been books, especially the ones that I’ve never heard of that will potentially get me hooked. There’s something different about books, and I mean the ones made of paper, not the digital sort. The smell of paper and tangibility of it, add life to a story.
Local publishers like Math Paper Press, the publishing arm of pop carefully curated local pieces out every so often with beautifully rendered artwork that binds the book into a perfect gift for any avid reader.
12. Pins That’ll Catch On From Pindemic
Stick it on to show your support for something or someone, or just stick it to the bland and boring. Pins add more colour and personality to whatever the person decides to stick them on. Local pimp of pins Pindemic peddle these pins with personality, to those looking for something to get stuck with.
If you think you know someone well enough, gift them a pin that they would gladly stick on their stuff, or self.
There you have it, 12 budget-friendly gift ideas that’ll get you out of any last minute Christmas shopping ruts — and any potential embarrassing gifts.
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