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