The clock is ticking, the malls are getting impossibly packed, your shopping list is nowhere near half-done, and you still have no flippin’ idea what to buy for your boyfriend’s aunt’s 18-year-old daughter. Don’t press the panic button just yet; TV personality Linda Black, actress Shine Koh, and Fly Entertainment artiste Oon Shu An share some gifting tips to help you power through the next two weeks of manic Christmas shopping.
Linda Black, TV personality:
“I’m more of a planner, and gift giving can be of particular anxiety for me. I usually start planning early and I try to take great joy in it. Depending on the friend and the kind of year we’ve had, I may go for something humorous or witty. Books make for great presents! Most of the time, I’ll get an array of gifts than kind of symbolise what this person means to me and how he/she makes me feel. I’m sentimental that way. But if I have to buy something for someone I barely know, I usually opt for alcohol or chocolates.
I think cards add a lovely touch when they are handwritten – even better if they are handmade! At the end of the day, gift giving should be fun, light, and always heartfelt. I never ever give a gift and expect one back. Just having friends over to have wine and share some laughs are the best gifts for someone like me who prefers to live in the moment.”
Shine Koh, actress:
“For good friends of mine, I buy presents based on what I know of their individual taste. If she’s into beauty, for example, I’ll probably get her one of the latest makeup sets. I always make it a point to personally wrap the gift and hand-make a card for those near and dear to me – handwritten messages beat a Facebook or Whatsapp message anytime! What if I don’t really know the gift recipient? Well, I’ll stick to something safe, like a mug!”
Oon Shu An, Fly Entertainment artiste:
“I’m rather attentive; I buy presents for my friends based on observations I’ve made about them over time. But sometimes, I’ll just ask them point-blank what they want! For friends I know well, I also tend to add a smaller novelty gift that reminds me of them. But whether the recipient is a close friend or someone I barely know, I like to get them a gift that gives back, such as the gift sets from The Body Shop. This way, you’re truly sharing the spirit of the festive season!
“Another fun idea would be to make presents from scratch, personalising each and every one – only if time permits, of course. For instance, if you’re into baking, you could create cake pops, cookies, cupcakes … I’m getting excited just thinking about the possibilities!”
Inspired by what Shu An shared about gifts that give back to the community? For every gift set purchased at The Body Shop, you’re helping towards The Gingerbread School House project. To find out more about the project, click here.
About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.
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