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10 practical Christmas gifts everyone will use

Don’t worry, we have stuff for every price range.

Alicia Ang
Alicia Ang

Strength: Memorising lyrics. Weakness: Having least 144 tabs open at all times.


Published: 15 December 2021, 1:43 PM

Let’s be honest – shopping for presents is stressful, and the pandemic hasn’t made things any easier. How are you supposed to buy something for someone you might not have seen in the last year?

Luckily, there are some gifts that you can give almost everyone. Things to brighten up their day, that will make their day-to-day easier, and that they may not even have known they wanted. 

Here are ten presents that almost everyone will appreciate.

1. An eye mask to pretend you’re alone at home

Now that the lines between work and home have blurred, everyone’s rest is extra important to them. If your loved one lives in a busy household, value their beauty sleep or just want to cover their Netflix binge-induced eye bags, consider getting them an eye mask! 

Bright street lights, the morning sun and random family members coming in and out of their room won’t be nearly as annoying then.

 

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Dark-coloured masks are the best for blocking out light. PHOTO CREDIT: WEAVVE

 

You can get non-irritating silk eye masks for under $20 on sites like Weavve and Shein. If your loved one is a side or back sleeper, SleepWiz has ergonomically designed eye masks just for them.

2. A portable photo printer to create memories on the spot

Technology has come a long way, and now you can give your loved ones a way to instantly immortalise their memories. 

What’s more, a lot of portable photo printers can print your images as stickers so that you can paste them wherever you want! Gone are the days of receiving WhatsApp images from your friends that immediately get buried in your gallery.

Prices vary, but the cheapest one we could find was Xiaomi’s, which is $14.50 on HipVan. More pricey options include Polaroid’s Pocket Photo Printer and the HP Sprocket – just take note that you’ll probably have to splurge on a separate roll of printing paper too. 

3. A pouch for the stuff that ends up at the bottom of their bags

If your friend tends to lug around a big bag with everything but the kitchen sink inside, consider getting them a pouch. 

It may seem redundant, but they likely have things like their portable charger, cables, and hand sanitiser rattling around in their big bag, so why not get them something that can organise the stuff that’s small and easy to lose track of? 

Plus, then their snacks won’t be crushed when you inevitably steal their snacks during the next meetup. 

 

hand-holding-a-strawberry-crochet-pouch
Here’s a crochet pouch I bought from @toasted.yarn on Instagram. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/ALICIA ANG

 

Muji carries clear pouches if your friend wants to be able to see the contents clearly. If you want something more unique, consider supporting local crochet and knitting businesses! Instagram is a great platform for shops like these.

4. A lip balm, because they probably need one

Speaking of small items, why not a lip balm? The weather has been erratic, especially as we enter the rainy season here in Singapore. If your loved one tends to get chapped lips, a lip balm would soothe the sensitive skin and protect them from the elements. 

As a bonus, they’re an easy way to look thoughtful without spending a lot.

Some balms even have SPF added for extra protection, like Carmex’s medicated balms. If you want a professional opinion on the best balms, you could also visit Sephora or Watson’s and ask one of their staff.

5. An ultrasonic cleaner to make jewellery shiny again

This one might seem a bit out there, but from personal experience, it really is something I didn’t know I wanted until I got one. 

Ultrasonic cleaners are great at cleaning things like tarnished metal, ceramic and hard plastic. This means that jewellery, glasses, and trinkets can come out as good as new after five minutes in one of these. 

These start at $40 on platforms like Shopee and Lazada and can go as high as $200. If your loved one is okay with a secondhand cleaner, barely used ones are as cheap as $10 on Carousell. 

6. A mask chain or mask clip, because mask fashion isn’t going away

This one is as simple but universal as it gets – we all know the feeling of having to tug at and adjust our masks on the daily, and when a mask is too tight or loose it ends up being a major pain throughout the day. 

Mask clips were made for that purpose, and mask chains help keep your mask safe even when eating or exercising without it on.

 

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Many small jewellery businesses can make you a custom mask chain. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@BEANIEBEADIES

 

Mask clips are as cheap as one dollar on Shopee, and you can find all kinds of unique mask chains on Instagram shops like Beanie Beadies

7. A laptop stand to prevent backache (and complaints)

You might have noticed that hours staring at your work laptop at home have given you a stiff neck – and you might not be the only one. If a family member or friend has complained about back pain, a crick in their neck or eye strain, a laptop stand might help to alleviate these issues. 

IKEA’s laptop stand will only cost you $10 for a lifetime of better posture. If you want adjustable laptop stands, Shopee and Ezbuy offer them for less than $20.

8. A personalised tote bag to advertise your friendship

This is another gift I can attest to – tote bags are convenient and hold a lot, and it’s fairly cheap to order a customised tote or design one yourself. Plus, you can put literally anything on it: their name, their pet, a meme or the Spotify code that’ll lead them to Never Gonna Give You Up.

 

tote-bag-with-embroidered-bouquet
If arts and crafts aren’t your niche, many Instagram shops will make a custom order for you! PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@DEMSTITCHES

 

Shopee and Muji sell all kinds of plain tote bags, and you can buy fabric paint for less than three dollars at any ArtFriend outlet or online (from personal experience, it doesn’t smudge in the wash). 

If you’re going for an embroidered look, a variety pack of embroidery floss is only 10 dollars at Spotlight. 

9. A snack bouquet, because ‘tis the season to indulge

Going further down the personalised route, food will always work if you’re low on ideas. A ‘bouquet’ of chocolates, snack packs or even hot dogs will be a fresh way to gift your loved one something to eat. It’ll also look great on Instagram.

 

bouquet--of-snack-packs
Snack bouquets can be as pretty or silly as you’d like. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@HONEY_WISH_BOUQUET

 

All you’ll need is wrapping paper or newspaper, a ribbon and the snacks, all of which can be found in stores like Popular, Spotlight and your closest supermarket. 

10. A gift card, because their likes are a mystery

Lastly, you could just get them a gift card. If you don’t know the person that well or you’re unsure of what exactly they’ll like, then a gift card to a store they frequent will always work. 

It doesn’t feel as impersonal as giving them cash, but you won’t have to worry about them not liking the gift in the wrapping paper.

Almost every shop and platform sells gift cards, including Starbucks, Kinokuniya, Steam, Sephora and Apple. 

At the end of the day, Christmas is still about spending quality time with friends and family – so don’t let the worry over gifts distract from the sweetness of the season.


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