Christmas gift guide: What to buy for your family, friends and co-workers

Agonising over what to buy for your loved ones this season? Here’s a nifty guide for to Christmas gift ideas for every one of them!

by Grace Koh

Christmas is comingand of course, the spirit of gift-giving is in the air once again. Been thinking that your Christmas gift ideas are a little trite, or do you need some new inspiration to breathe life into your presents for others? Here are some ideas for your loved ones from all walks of life. Now, you don’t need to scratch your head over what to get that aunt whom you meet once a year, or fret about whether your adolescent sibling will find your gift too uncool for them!

Grandparents

Perhaps the trickiest people to get gifts for, grandparents are known to say, ‘Don’t want lah, I don’t need anything’and it really does seem like they don’t need anything! What can we get our grandparents, with their sagely life experience, which would put a smile on their faces? 

1. DIY Gardening Kits

DIY gardening kit for Christmas gifts in Singapore

Source: Super Farmers

Looking for something that would encourage Grandma and Grandpa to go out for fresh air more often or to stay a little more active around the house? A do-it-yourself kit to kickstart their own little vegetable or herb garden might just do the trick. After all, it’s incredibly rewarding to see your plants grow.

Check out Super Farmer’s Microgreen Starter Kits here, which come with compost, seeds, growing instructions, and even a recipe card. The best part? They can harvest their microgreens (kang kong, chye sim, or kailan) to cook a healthy meal at home in just two weeks!

Price range: From $49

2. Kitchenware 

Kitchenware and tableware for Christmas gifts in Singapore

Source: Eat & Sip

Who doesn’t love a pretty set of plates and cups to line the table with? Not only does it make food more aesthetically pleasing, it also serves a practical purpose to serve food for meal times. Besides the usual plates and mugs, which are common Christmas gift ideas, you can consider getting something a little different this yearthink a cheeseboard, if your grandparents are the tapas-loving kind, or even a flask if you notice that their water jug has been used for a really long time and is wearing out. 

For your tableware gifts, check out Table Matters and Crane Living, or explore Eat & Sip‘s collections of handmade ceramics (from $24) from local and overseas artists.

Price range: $4.50–$138

3. Massage devices and sticks

Source: OTO

Let’s face itas we grow older, we find ourselves enjoying massages more and more. After all, closing your eyes to feel your weary muscles and flesh kneaded lovingly, and aches being released with each movement at your pressure points, what could be more enjoyable? The elderly often complain about aching joints, or sore feet. Consider a foot or back massage device for your grandparents, and bring them the joy of relaxation and relief from their aches in their creaky bones. There are many quality brands out there in the market, like OSIM, OTO, or Ogawa

If your grandparents shun technology and advocate for natural or ‘old school’ means, you could buy a massage stick from Shopee, Qoo10, or even from the neighbourhood market. 

Price range: $99–$499

4. The gift of companionship 

Sometimes, especially for our grandparents who live alone, it does get a little lonely in a quiet house without anyone else. The elderly usually are more susceptible to falls or have a health condition which needs extra monitoring or caring for. Even if we know we are able to care for our grandparents, an option for extra help to provide companionship and support, plus an extra pair of eyes, is always helpful. In the ever-busy Singapore, it can be difficult to take time off from work. Homage offers hour-long care packages to care for your grandparents in place, should you require that extra help from time to time. Not only do the caregivers provide extra care, they do help to cater for some much needed companionship for the elderly. 

Mom

The matriarchs of our households often labour in silence and love. From tirelessly doing the chores to providing income for the family, our mothers deserve to be celebrated not just on Mother’s Day, but every single day. Christmas is a good time to show your appreciation for mom as well. Choose something which takes work off mom’s mind, and helps her to relax and unwind. 

1. Candles and scents 

Candles, Christmas gift ideas for Mom in Singapore

Source: Lynk Artisan | Facebook

We all know a pleasing scent can make a difference to any mood. Candles and scents have been high on the list of gift ideas for ladies for a long time. A scent can reflect much about someone’s personality, or a mood they would like to convey. Buy mom a candle to light up the room, and set the mood for relaxation. Otherwise, consider your mom’s classic perfume choice and buy her a top-upor why not choose something you’ve picked out for her? Mom may appreciate the heartfelt notion of his gesture. 

Popular places to purchase candles would be at Bath and Body Works or Yankee Candle. If your mom or yourself veer more towards supporting local, there are producers such as Hush Candle, Lynk Artisan, or Candles of Light. For other types of scents, Sephora stocks a range of perfumes and eau de toilettes for the picking. 

Price range: $20–$84 for candles; $25–$740 for perfumes

2. Gift vouchers at department stores

Besides aromatherapy, a well-known form of therapy popular amongst women isyou guessed itretail therapy. Major department stores allow gift vouchers to be purchased as gifts for others, including Tangs and BHG, which sells their vouchers in $10 and $20 denominations. Mom will be spoiled for choice with the wide array of selections she can choose from. If she’s not into shopping, fret not, for the vouchers can be used for other purchases besides fashion. She can choose food items or perhaps some toys even for her grandchildren. 

You can purchase gift vouchers over the counter at the respective departmental stores. If mom is tech-savvy, you can get an online gift card at Giftano for her here.

Price range: $10–$500 per gift card

3. A day out for high tea 

A day out at high tea as a Christmas gift idea for Mom in Singapore

Source: Wildseed Cafe | Facebook

Most of us love sweets and have a separate stomach for dessertsmom included. Have some time out with mom by bringing her out for a treat of treats at tea time. Various hotels here offer high tea selections, such as Regent Hotel and Fullerton Hotel. If you prefer an experience away from the city, consider bringing mom to cafes located in ‘ulu’ areas, such as Wildseed Cafe, which offers an afternoon tea set for two to share. 

Price range: $29–$84.75 per adult

4. Your practical help around the house 

Give mom a break and give her a voucher… offering your services. Whether it is to clean, to take care of your grandparents and help them move around the house, or to make dinner for a week, mom will appreciate this sweet gesture of care. Moms are often tired out from running the household, and a good break is sometimes what she needs more than anything else. You can’t buy time with moneybut you can exchange your time for mom to have some rest, and that is a Christmas gift idea that she will definitely be grateful for.

If your mom or dad needs help with providing care to your grandparents, Homage’s long-hour Home Care Packages may come in handy and help to relieve the workload that they have to shoulder.

Save more with Homage's long-hour packages ✅

Thinking of engaging long-term home care services? Homage offers a wide range of home-based care services that can cover the full end-to-end care for specific conditions such as stroke, cancer, diabetes, and more. 

Save up to $1,300 with our long-hour packages! Find out more by filling out this form and our Care Advisory team will contact you with more information.

Dad

The dads in our lives are often remembered for their playfulness with us in our childhoods, as the strong stately figures supporting us in our adolescence, and as the ones giving us advice in our adulthood. They do a lot, but oftentimes support us from a distance. Let dad know you appreciate and remember this Christmas by giving him something he would enjoy. 

1. Subscription to sports channels 

Dads, if not most men, are into the art of watching sports and cheering for their favourite teams or players. Be it basketball, soccer, or tennis, most guys would have that one or two sports they follow on a consistent basis. He will surely be delighted with a one-year subscription to watch his favourite sports teams on demand. You’d be glad to know that Starhub and Singtel offer subscriptions for sports channels!

Price range: $19.90$26.40

2. His drinks of choice

Wine alternatives for Christmas gifts in Singapore

Source: Spill Mag

Nothing like a good scotch or whisky for a boy’s night in or out, even for the big boys! However, if Dad does not like whisky, consider a bottle of fine wine to add to his collection. After all, they say men do age like fine wine. Let dad lift his spirits by sipping on some alcohol of choice. Wine Connection sells various spirits and alcohol, and there are various online retailers of alcohol, such as Cellarbration.

For those who are on a healthy streak, consider getting wine alternatives ($35 per bottle) from NON. These drinks are made from natural fruit and vegetable juices and fermented to make them taste just like the real thing sans the alcohol content, and you can purchase them via Free Spirit.

Price range: $24.90–$399 for alcohol; $35 for each bottle of NON’s drinks

3. Add on to his hobby collection

Some dads like fishing, some dads like golf, and some dads like building Lego figurines. What we know is that each dad isn’t the same, but every dad appreciates a new addition to their hobbies to tinker with. Enhance their hobbies by choosing something thoughtful and heartfelt. After all, the best Christmas gift ideas are the ones that were selected just for that special someone. If your dad likes golfing, why not get a golf club headcover or related accessories for his next trip to the golf course from Pan West? Or if he is a Lego fanatic, get him a limited edition lego set to build in his free time. 

Price range: Varies depending on items

Siblings

Ah, siblings. sometimes the bane of our lives but sometimes the very best friends we have together for life. Show some sibling love and appreciation this Christmas with a gift or two, or even a stocking stuffer. Here are some gift ideas for siblings you can consider adding under the Christmas tree. 

1. Games 

Nintendo Switch console as a gift idea for Christmas gift guide

With technology, gaming has become a mainstay of many people’s lives. Portable devices like Nintendo Switch and even a handphone now have the capacity to load and stream games in a high-quality resolution to enjoy on the way to school or work. The recent rage would be the new Pokemon series for Nintendo Switch, which you can buy from Nintendo’s official Shopee store alongside the gaming console here. Otherwise, if your siblings prefer offline games, board games and card games are popular gift options as well. Some local game creators have invented games which have become a hit with Singaporeans. Think Singapore Dream, Durian Dash, and Hawker Wars which you can purchase from TOYTAG. Whichever your sibling prefers, there is no lack of options! 

Price range: $449 for Nintendo Switch; $79.90 for Pokemon games; approximately $20 for each card game set

2. Books, e-readers and tablets

Is your sibling a bookworm? Does the thought of a nice read make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside? You can go the ‘old school’ route and get them a paperback or hardcover book. Otherwise, e-books are a portable and popular option nowadays, as many people load their reads on their tablets or phones. If you’re feeling extra generous this year, consider getting an e-reader for your siblingAmazon has Kindle, one of the more well-known readers, and there are various e-readers by Kobo as well. Otherwise, a tablet may serve a more multi-purpose function besides reading books, and you can download the Libby application on the tablet to access the National Library online catalogue for more e-books to borrow and read. Some affordable tablet options can be found at Samsung, Lenovo, or Huawei (from $448), and all of these options are available for purchase on Shopee and physical retailers, including COURTS, Harvey Norman, and Challenger.

Price range: $15–$40 for books; $149–$629 for e-readers; $448–$1,998 for tablets

3. Advent calendar 

Advent calendars as Christmas gift ideas

Source: Michael Murtaugh | New York Times

The fun and niftiness of an advent calendar never die out, no matter how old you are. There is just something about opening a little window to find a surprise sweet or trinket there, which brings so much excitement and joy. Whether your sibling is a chocolate aficionado, a beer junkie, or a make-up hoarder, there are all sorts of advent calendars available in the market. Some interesting ones for the season include a beer advent calendar from Thirsty Beer.

Price: $195

The aunt who visits once a year

While we celebrate with our close friends and family in the season, the season’s festivities does not preclude long-lost relatives from visiting. When an aunt whom you have not seen since last Christmas comes knocking on your door, you want to welcome her with utmost hospitality, yet you may not know what would be a safe Christmas gift for her. Something not too personal, yet something not too cold as wellwhat would fit this bill? 

1. Chocolates 

Source: Mr Bucket Chocolaterie

A fail-safe option to fall back on, chocolates may seem like a common Christmas gift idea. However, there are so many selections and customisations available nowadays to make your chocolate gift a little more personal. Perfect for the relative you see once in a while. Mr Bucket, a local confectioner, offers a personalised gift box selection of chocolates. Lemuel Chocolate offers the option to DIY your own chocolate bara more personal touch to add your own flavour notes. 

Alternatively, for healthier chocolates that are sugar-free, consider CHOCOELF‘s creations.

Price range: $8–$179

2. Log cake 

TWG Tea's Log Cake as Christmas gift idea

Source: TWG Tea | Facebook

The origins of this interesting cake started in the ancient days, when it was said that a huge log was blessed and burned in the fireplace to generate warmth during the cold Christmas winters. Subsequently, as houses evolved to become smaller without fireplaces, people would place a hollow log as a centrepiece for their dining table, and the log was garnished with candy, dried fruit, cookies, gingerbread, and sometimes even small toys. Get one for your aunt from Pine Garden, Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes, or LOCABA to commemorate this special Christmas tradition. 

Looking for keto-friendly and diabetic-friendly cakes? Here‘s our guide to the best diabetic-friendly cakes in Singapore.

Price range: $59–$95

3. Christmas hamper

When in doubt about what to get, a hamper is a safe choice. Some options include Marks & Spencer, which does a Christmas hamper with their beloved biscuits and treats, and Da Paolo Gastronomia, serving up a cheese and wine hamper this season to partake with loved ones. It is surely a good choice when it comes to safe but thoughtful Christmas gift ideas for your distant aunt.

Price range: $80–$490

Friends

Friendsthe family we choose besides our biological ones. Depending on which friend, and what interests they may have, sometimes all you want to do is to show a little appreciation to a special someone. 

1. Coffee or tea 

Kindred Tea as Christmas gift ideas

Source: Kindred Teas | Facebook

Literally a universal drink, it’s either coffee or tea for breakfast in most countries. You can be sure your gift will be a well-used one. If your friend enjoys the smell of freshly brewed coffee, consider going to Bacha Coffee for some luxurious brews. There are many cafes in Singapore that roast their own beans and make their own coffee powder, such as Perk Coffee. If your friend is not a fan of coffee, local tea companies such as Kindred Teas and Tea Chapter sell various brews for the tea lover. 

Price range: $17.90 onwards for coffee; $20 onwards for tea

2. Handphone covers and accessories 

Almost everyone owns a handphone nowadays, making a phone-related accessory a definite must to have. Why not give your friend a handphone cover for their phone? If your friend is someone who likes to have their phone well protected, a cover from Otterbox, UAG, or Spigen would be the perfect gift. Otherwise, if your friend veers more on the design side of things, Casetify offers a vast array of designs from cartoons to patterns. There are other accessories you can consider too, like wireless chargers, handphone stands, or handphone grips. 

Price range: $45–$130

3. Planner 

Planner as Christmas gift idea for colleagues

Source: kāi

Post-Christmas and we will all be contemplating the impending start of 2023. Help your friend get a head start into the new year by giving them the gift of organization and time management with a planner. There are some basic, no-frills planners from Muji, or you could choose a more elaborate one with stickers for moods and cuteness from Ban.do, kāi, or Helumi. Otherwise, if your friend likes something more rustic, consider a handmade leather planner from Etsy

Price range: $8.90–$59.90

Colleagues 

You see them five days a week at the office (or if you’re still working from home, only sometimes in the office), you grab lunch with them and chat about the office happenings and some bits of your personal lives. Colleagues are the people in our lives we meet every day and even sometimes become friends with, but it can be a difficult task to nail down the perfect Christmas gift idea for our colleagues. With this, why not add something to brighten up their desk this Christmas?

1. Hand lotion or salve  

In the modern workplace, no office worker is a stranger to hand lotion or salve. With the cold air conditioning in offices, our skin and hands often get dry and need some extra moisturising. L’Occitane is well known for its hand lotions, and some great options for unisex ones include Burt’s Bees and Kiehls, all of which you can purchase at Sephora.  

Price range:$10–$59

2. Table ornaments and decorations

Add a little character to your colleague’s desk with table decorations like figurines or desk calendars which can double up as a paperweight as well. Naiise offers some quirky local creations, and Simply Toys sells some figurines as well. 

Price range: Varies depending on items

3. Stationery 

Stationery as Christmas gift ideas

Source: MUJI Singapore | Facebook

This is a no-brainer gift for your colleague pal. Every office needs pens, pencils, and delectable stationery just for the feels. Kikki.K is no unfamiliar name for every stationery enthusiast. If your colleague is minimalist or the practical sort, you can get some pens at Muji for their stationery which is simple in design yet functional. 

Price range: $1.80–$16.90 for writing utensils and small desk accessories

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References

References

  1. Christmas gift guide for the whole family: kids, mum, dad, grandparents, helpers and the fur-kids too! (n.d.). Honeykids Asia. https://honeykidsasia.com/christmas-gift-guide-for-family-singapore/
  2. Countdown to Christmas 2022: where to buy advent calendars in Singapore. (n.d.). Honeykids. https://honeykidsasia.com/where-to-buy-advent-calendars-in-singapore/
  3. Nurjuwita, D. (2022, December 1). 10 Best Christmas Hampers To Buy For Friends Or Colleagues So You Don’t Have To Chiong Last Minute. TheSmartLocal – Singapore’s Leading Travel and Lifestyle Portal. https://thesmartlocal.com/read/christmas-hampers-singapore/
  4. Story and Tradition of Yule Log Cake. (n.d.). My Parisian Kitchen. https://www.myparisiankitchen.com/en/origin-and-tradition-of-yule-log-cake/
  5. Tan, J. (2022, December 6). Sink Your Teeth Into The Best Log Cakes In Singapore This Christmas 2022. AugustMan Singapore. https://www.augustman.com/sg/food-drink/dining/best-log-cakes-in-singapore-for-christmas-2022/
  6. The 31 Best Gifts for Grandparents of 2022. (2022, November 23). Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/best-gifts-for-grandparents-4589615
  7. Yahoo is part of the Yahoo family of brands. (n.d.). https://sg.style.yahoo.com/sink-teeth-best-log-cakes-080000620.html

 

About the Writer
Grace Koh
Apart from reading, singing, and plodding up muddy trails, Grace enjoys scribbling notes and thinking up a storm. She is particularly interested in community support for the special needs population, and learning and education.
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