There are special people in our lives for whom we don’t scrimp on gifts, we don’t bargain-hunt or look at the sale tab online. Rather, we save up to buy them special presents. It can be a bag, watch, shoes, perfume or a designer coffeemaker. We give them things we want to receive ourselves.
But not in a million years did any one of us think that a pandemic kit would make for a nice and useful Christmas gift. Who would have thought that a facemask, a face shield or a UV light disinfectant would be on people’s wish lists?
It just goes to show how this season, like the rest of the year, is unlike any we’ve experienced before. Here are some gift suggestions for people who want to shell out P5,000 and above—for family, friends or themselves.
If the Longchamp x Pokémon isn’t cute, I don’t know what is! When they launched this collaboration featuring Pikachu in October, it was made available only in Japan. Now it is also in Manila. Many women I know have at least one Longchamp bag that they use for work (when we used to go to the office every day anyway) or for travel. Me, I’m more of the latter. I love my medium Le Pliage with a shoulder strap because it’s light and roomy (I can stuff my laptop, cosmetic pouch, passport and a change of clothes inside).
Price: From P5,450 (cosmetic case) to P13,000 (backpack), P14,500 (large shoulder bag) and P36,500 (leather, small top handle). Available at Longchamp boutiques and Rustan’s.
Japanese fashion brand Onitsuka Tiger is known for its sneaker collabs with Valentino, Gucci, Shu Uemura, Givenchy and other houses. And also for combining technical details and fashion elements. Its autumn/winter collection features pops of color in key looks and chunky styling in the new Dentigre, a modern take on the brand’s heritage tennis shoe.
Tory Burch loafers are some of best casual footwear around. Made of soft leather and buffed leather sole, you can wear them with jeans or a dress from day to a night out. We can dream, can’t we?
Price: P19,000 and up. Available in Tory Burch boutiques.
There are several models in the 2020 Swatch holiday collection but the prettiest for me are the Luminescent Rose soft and shiny rose-gold and Luminescent Sand in gold color. Designed with the stainless steel of the Irony series, they have just enough sparkle for the season.
Price: P7,500, available at Swatch shops in SM, Ayala and Robinsons Malls.
Gifting women with pots and pans has a long history of gender politics. Prior to the pandemic, kitchen gifts to a partner were not considered “gifts” by many because they were for the house and not personal things. This year, with people staying home most of the time and experimenting with cooking and baking, such gifts would be most welcomed. They are more used than your shoes, after all.
Things to consider giving: food processor, nonstick baking pans, coffee machine, juicer, pressure cooker, roasting pans, fry and pot sets, air fryer, dinnerware, ice cream maker.
Oh so many things in the kitchen we didn’t know we needed or wanted before the pandemic!
Prices: You can go anywhere from P3,000 for a single nonstick wok to P100,000 for a coffee machine depending on the brand. Available online and department stores such as SM, Landmark, Rustan’s, Metro, AllHome, S&R, Landers, etc.
Beauty and pandemic kits
For a P5,000 and up budget, you can put together a skincare and/or pandemic kit. It’s a good idea to handpick from different brands rather than a single expensive brand, which kind of limits you just because they’re so expensive (if it doesn’t—good for you!).
Two brands I love using on my skin are Clinique and Murad. Clinique for facial cleanser and moisturizer, and Murad for its eye serum. I’m a sucker for bonus gift packs when you spend a certain amount and at Clinique they give you travel sample sizes, which I hoard! Given its prices, Murad just gives you samples in sachets.
Add to these the Korean brand Laneige’s pore refining set for problem areas and a moisturizing mist for those long hours working from home. Throw in some Innisfree face masks in there or green tea set too!
When I want to treat myself, I go to the Chanel and Dior counters—for Chanel Chance (the 50 ml EDT is refillable) and Le Vernis Nail Colour especially its rouge noir and the shades above it. Dior also recently released Dior Rouge Golden Nights, a limited-edition collection with one lipstick and five refills in different shades of red.
To be honest, skincare this year seems to be easy since we’re not so exposed to pollutants outside, but remember that beauty products are always great gifts to any woman.
Prices: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum (15 ml), P4,850. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (125 ml), P2,973. Innisfree set P2,317. Available on Lazada and Rustan’s (Dior and Chanel).
For pandemic kits, you can put together washable masks from Uniqlo, or dressier ones by Craftans which embroidered by women in communities. For heavily embellished and out-of-this-world masks, check out Ed Aniel on Instagram. Combine these with UV disinfectant lamps, hand sanitizers, acrylic reusable face shields, disinfecting wipes for a nice kit.
Prices: Uniqlo’s Airism, P550, pack of three at Uniqlo. Embroidered Craftans masks, P849, available on Ayala Museum’s website. Ed Aniel masks, from P1,200 to P12,000 (bridal), available on his Instagram. UV disinfecting lamps, P1,500 up, available on Lazada, Shopee.