When it comes to gift-giving, I’m not exactly the easiest person to shop for.
I’m also the easiest person to shop for.
Now you’re confused (you should be). Let me explain: I’m not a fan of gifts that I have little to no use for, and of the things that I do like and use, I tend to be very picky (although I prefer to use the word ‘discerning’) with.
No, I’m not into designer clothes, shoes, cars or jewellery. Not at all ― these things have no place in my life (I’m generally not into impressing people with things I own) or budget.
In fact, I have very simple tastes. But when I do shop for things, they tend to be from a handful of brands that I feel reflect my values and preferred tastes.
As I get older, I find myself buying fewer things, opting only for items and services that I feel bring value into my life. This typically means very few decorative items or collectibles that do little beyond taking up space and requiring constant maintenance. It means choosing to bring and keep only items that, as Marie Kondo puts it, ‘sparks joy’ within me.
And judging from the results of this recent ‘Christmas Gift Confessions’ poll by Finder, I’m not the only one who struggles with managing gifts that fill me with dread once opened, followed by anxiety because someone’s hard-earned cash was spent on it.
The best way to avoid getting yourself into this gift-giving pickle and get more smiles out of the unwrapping process when you’re the one doing the giving? Put more thought into your gift shopping.
I know, I know….easier said than done.
Which is why I’ve come up with this thoughtfully curated list of gift ideas for your favourite people, organised according to personality type and interest. And unlike other gift suggestions that you may come across, these are meant to help your recipients feel healthier, happier and calmer.
(*Note: Some of these gift suggestions contain affiliate links, which means that I’ll earn a small commission if you decide to buy. Buying via these links won’t cost you anything extra, but it’ll allow this blog to earn money―thank you if use them!)
FOR YOUR FAVOURITE HOME CHEF
Charles Viancin Banana Leaf Lid, $18 This heat-safe, banana leaf-shaped silicone lid is perfect for keeping food in metal and glass dishes fresh and hot, thanks to the airtight seal it creates.
Dine Butter Dish With Oak Lid, $28 No more slicing butter right out of the tin-foil packaging it comes in, and creating an oily mess in the process. This elegant porcelain dish keeps butter fresh, neatly contained and is oh-so-pretty to look at.
GreenLife 14-Piece Nonstick Ceramic Cookware Set in Turquoise, $86 This cookware set has everything your kitchen-loving giftee needs to simmer, boil, stir fry, poach, sous-vide and steam their way to foodie heaven.
FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRAVELLER
Trtl Pillow, $30 Unlike regular travel pillows, the compact, machine-washable Trtl pillow uses internal support and cushioning that keeps your head in a better, more comfortable position. The special person who gets this gift will be snoozing like a log anytime, anywhere.
Herschel Backpack in Grey, $31 Perfect for the giftee who will appreciate hands-free travelling in classic, understated style. Its tomato-red seams and striped lining on the inside of the backpack adds a vibrant touch and contrasts its neutral exterior nicely.
Muji Suitcase in Beige Brown, $350 Tough, ultra-light and Transportation Security Administration (TSA)-friendly, this Muji shell suitcase makes the perfect carry-on companion for the frequent traveller.
FOR YOUR FAVOURITE MINIMALIST
The Minimalist Home: A Room-By-Room Guide To A Decluttered, Refocused Life by Joshua Becker, $12 Whether your giftee is a budding minimalist or well into their simple living journey, this practical guide will make a riveting read for anyone who wants to design a clutter-free yet inviting space that feels like home.
The Year Of Less by Cait Flanders, $13 In this book, Cait Flanders (one of my favourite minimalists to follow) describes the year where she swapped shopping and greater fulfilment. During this journey, she got rid of 70% of her belongings, learned how to fix things instead of buying new, and immersed herself in the zero waste lifestyle ― a soul-enriching read for your favourite person who’s considering living with less.
The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art Of Decluttering And Organising by Marie Kondo, $10 For every cluttered corner, drawer or space in general, this book is the antidote. Offering this home-transforming read as a gift is the creation of more space, peace and joy in your giftee’s life.
FOR YOUR FAVOURITE FITNESS BUFF
Gaiam Keep Your Cool Yoga Kit, $16 Runner, CrossFitter or yogi, it doesn’t really matter. This kit, comprising a gorgeous, non-slip yoga mat and matching water bottle, is designed to help your fit favourite keep their cool by staying limber and hydrated.
TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller, $35 Got a fit buddy who’s always complaining about aches and tightness in their body? Come to their rescue with this foam roller, which will help your giftee loosen up the uncomfortable kinks in their muscles, improve oxygen flow to their tissues and recover more quickly after a tough workout.
CAP Barbell Enamel Coated Cast iron Kettlebell, $67 Great for strengthening the hammies, glutes, abs, shoulders and just about every muscle group you can think of, this kettlebell is literally the perfect workout anytime, anywhere piece of equipment, and belongs in every fitness lover’s at-home toolbox.
FOR YOUR FAVOURITE PET PARENT
TOOGE Pet Camera, $40 Help ease your favourite pet parent’s separation anxiety when they’re away from home with this pet monitor, which gives them remote access to their pet via high-quality day-and-night images, two-way talking and motion detector sensors that double as a security feature.
Pet Craft Supply Premium Outdoor/Indoor Pet Bed, $44 A happy pet = a happy pet parent. Help them stay that way with this machine-washable, fade- and water-resistant pet bed with padded sides that help your favourite person’s furry companion feel safe and supported.
Homdox Automatic Pet Food Dispenser, $79 Got a loved one who’s always working late and needs a little help feeding their pet? Put them at ease with this automatic pet food dispenser that can dish out up to 39 portions of food. Even better, it comes with a voice record-play function that helps their furry friend feel like their best friend is right there with them for every meal.
FOR YOUR FAVOURITE BEAUTY JUNKIE
The Ordinary Buffet, $20 Despite it’s name, this is no ordinary skincare brand. A favourite of mine and a staple in my own skincare routine, The Ordinary has developed a cult-like following for making clinical-grade skincare formulations at very affordable prices. ‘Buffet’ is one of their most raved-about formations, designed to keep the signs of aging at arm’s length, with visible plumping, hydration and glowing results with regular use ― a must have in every woman’s skincare arsenal.
Caudalie Paris Divine Oil, $43 Another personal beauty staple of mine, this intoxicatingly fragrant multi-purpose formula is a combination of sesame, grape and extra virgin argan oils that will leave your giftee’s skin and hair feeling soft, hydrated and lightly scented. It is, as its name suggest, divine.
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector, $41 I no longer use foundation these days, but one thing I do use to enhance my skin is a small amount of this liquid highlighter, which I mix into my Hada Labo UV Perfect Gel moisturiser for a subtle glow and dewiness.
FOR YOUR FAVOURITE INTROVERT
Paddywax Hygge Collection Scented Soy Wax Candle, $25 If you have a favourite introvert in your life, you’ll know that nothing makes them happier than a quiet night in. Help them unwind guilt-free with this candle that’s made from soy-derived wax (a renewable resource, unlike those made from oil-derived paraffin) and infused with heavenly bergamot and mahogany for a subtle dose of aromatherapy.
Genteele Sherpa Reversible Plush Throw Blanket, $30 A hot cup of tea + great conversation (with you, perhaps?) + a plush, cozy blanket = Pure bliss. ‘Nuf said.
Honest Calming Lavender Hypoallergenic Bubble Bath, $11 This beautifully-scented lavender bubble bath was made with young ones in mind, but hey, who says your favourite introverted adult can’t have a little bubbly fun too?
FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TECHIE
Anker PoweCore Ultra-Compact 5000mAh Power Bank, $25 The prospect of running out of juice can strike fear in the hearts of the bravest techies. To help your favourite gadget lover feel safe from unexpected low-battery episodes with no relief in sight, get them this slim and sleek portable charger, which is built to provide enough power to charge an iPhone 6S twice.
Umbra Old School Tablet Stand With Stylus, $36 Got a favourite person in your life who loves watching their favourite TV shows or browsing through digital magazines while they’re cooking or waiting for the laundry to dry? This adorable old-school wooden tablet stand (it holds cookbooks too!) will keep them entertained for hours. Plus, it comes with a stylus that keeps their tablet safe from dirty hands.
LEFF Amsterdam Portable Bluetooth Tube Audio Speaker, $125 This elegant, portable, brass-plated speaker may look like a lightweight, but don’t that its looks fool you. It packs a powerful punch with 100dB of wireless sound and a battery life of up to 12 hours. Perfect for pleasing the music lover in your life.
FOR YOUR FAVOURITE FRIEND OF THE EARTH
Full Circle Tidy 100% Organic Cotton Dish Cloths, $9 The one thing that Mother Nature lovers hate more than anything is to clog her up with more waste, which is why they’ll happily pick these 100% organic, reusable cotton dish cloths over disposable paper towels any day.
LifeSky Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $16 Help your fellow earthling keep our landfills and oceans with plastic with this gorgeous stainless steel, insulated water bottle. Designed to keep liquid cold for up to 24 hours, it’s made for your favourite earth-conscious person who’s always on the move but wants to keep their carbon footprint as minimal as possible.
Silky Road Compost Bin, $35 Made for earth-loving friends who want their kitchens to look good while composting, this vintage-styled compost bin is sizeable enough to fit a few days’ worth of food scraps but small enough to stay out of your giftee’s way while they’re busy in the kitchen.
I hope I’ve helped get your thoughtful gift-giving ideas flowing. And speaking of which, what are you hoping to receive this year?