the present situation


I don’t celebrate Christmas, but with several birthdays falling around late November all through December (including my younger sister’s), I tend to get caught up with the gifting frenzy around this time of the year. After a couple of agonising weeks of brainstorming, shopping, consulting friends over group gifts, and shopping again, I finally crossed every item off the list, and I’m quite pleased with myself for finding the right thing for the right person, keeping all the co-gifters happy, and within the allocated budgets. I should be paid for this. Why are all my skills so unprofitable?

I don’t like online shopping but I am quite grateful for the invention because it means I can do some of this in between work at the office, saving me some time. 2 of my gifts were found this way, and I’m satisfied that they also happen to be things not commonly-found in Singapore – another advantage of online shopping. Moreover, I could take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals – something previously US-centric but thanks to internet, now helping me save some pennies. The downside was placing my orders before the Christmas crush – which caused a certain amount of stress.

So one cooking-mad friend will get a measuring cup that’s also a digital weighing scale which I ordered from the Williams-Sonoma website – thank goodness for the 50% discount on shipping or it would have been uneconomical to ship it here. I’m pairing it with a copy of Frank Bruni’s autobiography, “Born Round”, which is so good, I miss seeing his food pieces on NYT so much.

Another friend will get the whale print pillow from Mengseldesign, found on their etsy store. I have the same print framed on my wall, was very tempted to buy the pillow for myself. I’m pairing the pillow with a candle from Aveda – they just opened a store here, and I need to do a separate post on them: I’ve always loved their products and eco-consciousness and love that I no longer have to track them down in odd hair salons in Singapore. The candle smells like vanilla, ginger and cassia, and makes you feel like you’re in a spa. Also, it’s quite reasonably priced as candles go.

I don’t think much of the bags and clothes at Bimba & Lola – quality doesn’t match the price – but I like going there to look for accessories like belts, jewellery, and scarves, which are decent quality and comparatively well-priced. I found the super-cute polka-dot scarf for a friend – love the dark grey matched with chartreuse and the trim of zany animals. It’s subtly humorous. Also, it was 50% off! Definitely my best bargain.

The terrarium - from a company here called Paperus - goes to a guy friend who is very neat, precise and likes things just so. Self-explanatory why a terrarium makes perfect sense. And they’re so pretty!

Finally, not pictured, but my younger sister will get a gift I bought in London – a red python wallet from Prada – purchased with contributions from my mother and older sister. I consider it a good deal because it’s a lot cheaper in London, nearly 40% difference factoring in the tax refund. Designer goods cost so much here now, especially with the euro and GBP depreciating so much against the Sing dollar – I’ll never buy something designer here if I can help it.

So that’s 2011 gifting all wrapped up, and a pat on my back. Of course, in the course of all that extensive shopping I saw many a thing to move my heart – an Aurelie Bidermann ring, Koto Bofolo’s “La Maison”. As a substitute, I bought myself some Valrhona chocolate. Ah well.

Pictures from paperus, aveda, williams-sonoma, bimba & lola, mengseldesign


I love this post. xo
miss sophie said…
such a thoughtful and lovely gift list. your baby sis is so wonderfully spoiled! don't forget to splurge on something for yourself, though. ;)
Human Racing said…
Judging for the amount of thought care you put into each gift it seems like you'd be an amazing friend to have.
Anonymous said…
such a thoughtful post! Wonderful effort, gal!!

I need to check out those Aveda candles!
Anonymous said…
It will be very nice if you'll do post about Aveda. I want to try something from their products, but not sure what to buy : )
lin said…
erica: thanks!

miss sophie: baby sisters usually are, aren't they? I'm trying not to turn this into a justification for buying myself something though, haha.

austere: some point I feel like maybe I lose perspective and turn it into a personal challenge, rather than a gesture of affection. I can be weirdly competitive, haha.

justeileen: I've never been into candles until recently, trying to stick to one at a time, but it can be difficult with so many tempting ones out there!

daria: i just did a post that briefly touched in Aveda, I've tried mainly their shampoo and conditioner so skincare is new for me. I'm definitely going to get more samples to see how their products fare on me.

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