The Guide to Blind Gift-Giving

So it’s Christmas, and bless the season, we’re all out of ideas. Especially when it comes to blind gift-giving. How do you buy gifts if you don’t know who you’re buying it for? Still, don’t settle for stock options like vouchers or gift sets. Make it unique!

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While the list is not exhaustive, I thought that at least it gives you a place to start looking. 🙂 Happy shopping!

Beauty

For those who know you’re going to be with the makeup-lovers, you’ve got it easy. Products can be found at almost any price point. Try Sephora‘s retail stores for a quick gift grab since they also have wrapping services, but indie brands such as Katfood and Soaplah. I also remember seeing some beer-flavoured soaps in Korea (forgot the brand) so that makes a nice thoughtful gift for someone who’s into beer and all that. For local brands,

Tech

I love shopping for tech gifts simply because I’m pretty prone to getting some for myself too. 😉  I decided to list down some items with suggested brands (if I have any) simply because anything tech makes a good gift, IMO!

  • USB cables (I live by my Energea wires!)
  • Thumbdrives (plenty of cute ones over at Naiise)
  • Travel adaptors/plugs
  • Laptop coolers
  • Power banks
  • Earphones (Happy Plugs are pretty cute and can be found in Naiise, Megafash and Popular if I’m not wrong)
  • Mouse
  • Drones
  • Fitness/activity trackers
  • VR equipment (Google cardboard?)
  • Portable speakers
  • Mini projectors
  • Phone cases (Society6, StrictlyCases, FancyaCase)

Special mentions to Xiaomi for their affordable Mi Drone, power banks, Mi Band and VR Play, all of which make for cute gifts. Also, as a hardcore Apple user, if anyone gets me any Apple cables I will be overjoyed to say the least!

For the Guys

Cufflinks are a great simple fix – I’ve bought some for friends from The Little Link and they’re of great quality, and there’s also the Cuff Link Shoppe for more alternatives. The Kin Wallet did catch my eye too (I was so close to hoarding) as well as the RiutBag.

Sport

Not an avid sportsperson (not anymore) so I can’t be the best person to advice on this, but I think the O2Cool products can be quite fun and functional, plus running armbands, swimming towels and the like can be quite affordable too. Decathlon carries very affordable duffel bags, sports equipment and sports apparel, so be sure to stop by there!

Novelty/Local

Local’s not lame, not anymore. Farm Store, Little Drom Store, WhenIWasFour, Supermama Store, LoveSG, Statement (yes, those famous BOJIO tees), Ang Ku Kueh Girl have all revolutionalized what it means to be local – and I am totally smitten. So gimmicky but so novel. Kueh cushions from Meykrs have also surprised me pleasantly with their quality despite not being a stuffed toy/cushion type of girl.

I have bought about 2-3 Ez-link cards as gifts to friends by now, the limited edition Civil War/Tsum Tsum ones. It almost always comes unexpected but they use it all the time, so I think that’s a huge plus in my book 😉 If you can’t find a certain series, there are sure to be sellers on Carousell who hoarded and now sell them at a premium will be your gift-giving saviours.

There’s also Office Playground for all those little games you keep in the office for the day someone’s bored and decides to throw shit on everyone else’s productivity.

Despite not liking wine, I have received wine openers, pepper grinders, no-spill suction mugs, namecard holders pretty often too. They can be quite novel but take a bit of work shopping for. Try Megafash for similar novelties, and of course, the usual DAMN GOOD STORE (their Bad Pencils are life), HipvanNaiise – all these moneysucking places..

PS: National Museum of Singapore’s souvenir shop stocks some pretty innovative stuff!

Food

Not a foodie by any count, but Pin Teas, Ette Teas, Straits Preserves, Spatula and Whisk have been pretty popular online. Hmm.

Local Designers

I’ve been eyeing Arete Goods for a while, and have heard good things about Fictive Fingers, Temasek Clothings, Carrie K too! Ling Wu used to be available at Doorstep Luxury but I haven’t seen them around very often. And of course, I love Gsews very much still!

Craft

Colouring books and washi tapes are great picks for the art lovers. Colouring books can be widely found at Popular, but I’ve seen better ones at Kinokuniya and “K”rafer’s Paradise. For the watercolour lovers, Prima Marketing’s watercolouring books can be found at MadeWithLove. If you have had advance notice, try Carousell or Taobao for washi tapes of all kinds (a budget of S$30 could probably give you 8-10 rolls) or Kikki.K for an alternative to the usual Typo/Monoyono affairs.

Productivity

I have kept planners for many years and have found Mark & Spencer planners (only available at certain stores, think it was Plaza Singapura and Wheelock Place) and My Daily Life to be affordable, pretty picks. Of course, brands like The Paper Bunny, The Weave Co., Moleskine, Mi Goals and Dear Maison are pretty popular as well (all of which can be found on Naiise) – I purchased Mi Goal’s Get Shit Done notebook a while back and that was a memorable gift. 🙂 If you’re feeling generous, The Happiness Planner has garnered quite the following, and I personally would love to receive an Everlast Notebook or Hustle Stone Planner as well.

Reads

This year, BooksActually came up with a gift box which I thought would have been perfect for literature lovers – or you could subscribe to their monthly boxes too, why not. Other than that, I usually scroll through reading lists such as this one by TED or this curated list by The Mission and try to get something generic and suitable. For the best generic reads that you’re pretty sure won’t be already on bookshelves, I recommend The Art of Thinking Clearly / Rolf Dobelli or Blink / Malcolm Gladwell. Productivity reads can be pretty motivating (whether executed or not is a different story) and StrengthsFinder 2.0 / Tom Rath, Deep Work / Cal Newport, Grit / Angela Duckworth have been great reads for me personally.

Toys

A few weeks ago, Jekca blocks caught my eye with their Lego for adults concept and I was more than half-sold on their dachshund puzzle. But I’m not a toy person so that’s all I’m suggesting for now. There are also the classic Monopoly sets, Taboo, Exploding Kittens, Pie Face, Cards Against Humanity (now also have Limpeh Says). Or you could try iPhone/Android games like Psych! and if anyone decided to buy me ICE on Vainglory (via iTunes Gift cards) I certainly wouldn’t object. Take your pick!

Subscriptions

I know of a whole list of people who would love Dropbox Pro, Evernote Premium, DayOne, Viu, Trello Gold, iCloud, or Typewolf subscriptions. Or is it just me..? Spotify Premium, Pocket Premium, OneDrive, Bear and GDrive also make pretty good picks imo.

Some quick suggestions for now – I’ll add more whenever I think of them. Merry Christmas everybody!

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