Christmas Gift Guide

DAYKEEPER2Having lived abroad for the last five years, I had almost forgotten how much of a deal the Christmas season is in Manila. From the lights, traffic, bazaars, and incredible amount of merchandise being produced and bought,  this city certainly likes to welcome the new year with a healthy sprinkle of chaos and panic buying.

I’ve featured quite a few wonderful local brands on the site this year. So here’s my simple compilation of the ones I think would make wonderful gifts this season. Click on their name to read more about them and find their contact info.

Olivia2Olivia & Diego Upcycled Jewelery: Lovely bracelets and necklaces made from pre-loved t-shirts and office supplies. Yanna of Olivia and Diego has informed me that they’ll be looking into new strategies that will be involving local communities next year.

cutieverse2Cutieverse Organic Beauty Products: is the perfect place to find beauty goodies for your healthy friends. They have a great selection of gift packs for men, women and everyone else in your family. They are also offering 20% off on Hurraw!, The Merry Hempsters, Marilou Bio and Raw Elements products until January 15, 2014.

tmatotoys4T-Mato Teacher Made Toys: These are a great gift option for children from the ages of 1-12. T-Mato is offering customers stress-free Christmas shopping this season. All you need to do is send them a list with the ages and gender of the children you need to buy presents for and they choose the appropriate toys and deliver everything ready for gift giving!

soaps22So True Naturals: This proudly Philippine-made soap brand makes the purest olive oil Castile soaps. They are the perfect gift for babies and those with sensitive skin. For this Christmas, So True Naturals is offering gorgeous boxes to go with their lush bars of bathing goodness.

Cling3Cling Homemade Fragrances: Freshen your home with lovely fragrances like fresh laundry, grapefruit, and olive. Gabbi of Cling let me know that they recently introduced their mini room & linen sprays just in time for the holidays. Their fragrances will also come with a really nice jute gift bag and card for this Christmas season only. They’ll need a week to produce bulk orders, so contact them soon if interested. They can also do personalized labels.

8cat&kaiCat & Kai Handmade Jewelry: Gorgeous, one-of-a-kind silver pieces that blend sea glass with unique designs. The perfect gift for someone who loves nature and unique finds.

MILLIEHandmade cheeseboards by Millie Fairhall: Australian-Filipino artist Millie Fairhall makes the loveliest things. I nabbed the beauty pictured above on my recent trip to Sydney. If you’re in Australia, I highly recommend purchasing her works for your art-savvy friends. Her packaging is so pretty, you don’t even need to wrap them.

DAYKEEPERDaykeeper Date Book: Some things still need to be written on good old fashioned paper and I believe a yearly planner is one of them. This locally-made 2014 date book is perfect for filling with usual day to day tasks as well as goals and dreams for the year, which are equally important. This Christmas, Katrina of Daykeeper has let me know that they can giftwrap your planners (just like the one they did in the first photo above). Supplies are going fast so check their Facebook page for where to nab one.

INDIGOBABYIndigo Baby: This online mom and baby store offers all sorts of natural products that you can be sure have been loved and approved by moms for years. For Christmas, they are offering little sample gift bags of their best-sellers that can be personalized for your gift giving needs.

coffee1Hineleban Coffee: A bag of ground or whole bean coffee grown in Bukidnon will definitely be appreciated. What makes this gift even cooler is that for every bag you buy a tree gets planted with a name of your choice that you get to track yearly via GPS.