If you’re at all like me, you’re probably doing your last-minute Christmas shopping right now. This is a judgement-free zone, so high-fives all around!
I was writing down my Christmas list myself and luckily, I have my go-to online resources for gift-shopping (mostly saved on my IG or vendors I’ve previously bought from for myself or my clients). I thought, “Hey, why not share this information?” So here’s my list of gift ideas for Christmas (and beyond), mostly from locally based brands or businesses.
Having a small business myself, I love supporting these locally grown businesses, because I know that behind the Instagram or Facebook accounts and websites, these brands and shops are powered by ordinary folk like you and me, trying to earn a living. What’s even better is that a lot of these brands support eco-sustainable programs and empower local and indigenous peoples—and who wouldn’t want to support that?
So whether you are using this list as a guide for Christmas gift shopping, or for stocking up on essentials for the coming year, you’ll definitely find something to love, whether for yourself, or your LOs.
I’m organizing the items below by shop, but have included links and photos to my favorite items from each site. Do know that some of the links below are my affiliate links. This only means that when you click on them and purchase through my links, I will earn a small commission from the sale—but at no added cost to you. (Your way of supporting the small biz that is Gal at Home Design Studio, too, so thank you!)
Home, furniture, and appliances from The Nest Genie
Whether you’re looking for furniture, home decor, kitchen and dining accessories, childcare equipment, toys, and appliances, you’ll find most of what you need from The Nest Genie.
They have holiday sales ongoing, but you may also use my promo codes for furniture pieces and appliances to get 10% discount off non-sale items. Just type in “NDC2021FURNITURE_CB” (for furniture purchases) or “NDC2021APPLIANCE_CB” (for appliance purchases) at checkout to get your discount!
Items I’ve also been looking at from The Nest Genie:
Stress-free cooking products from Pink Plate Kitchen
For transparency’s sake, this is my sister and brother-in-law’s food business. But I wouldn’t really recommend even my family’s offers if they weren’t CRAZY GOOD!
Pink Plate Kitchen is a QC-based food business. They distribute Robina Farms deli products, but also their own delicious concoctions (the air-fried crispy pata and baked chicken are some of our go-to’s). My favorite would have to be their jar products, because they’re literal life savers in the kitchen!
The Giardino All’Italiana jar is a tomato, basil, olive oil, and cheese sauce that you just heat up in a pan and toss in with your favorite spaghetti noodles. I’ve given these away as gifts, and my friends have even mixed the sauce with their preferred meats, like sausage, shrimp, bacon. We’ve done it with garlic longganisa (also from Pink Plate) and it was perf!
La Caretierra Di Francesca is a tomato, garlic, mushrooms, and tuna concoction that you can also just heat up and mix in with your preferred pasta (or meat!).
And finally, Alang-Alang sa Bawang is the shortcut ingredient you didn’t think you’d need until now. Use it in absolutely ANY recipe that requires garlic, or even just spread it on toast with butter for instant garlic bread.
Pink Plate Kitchen also carries Cafepino coffee blends: This one is my husband’s labor of love (which he actually inherited from my parents, who developed the brand almost two decades ago).
If you’re tired of the same old 3-in-1 coffee, do try my daily coffee drink of choice. My favorite is the Macadamia Latte, but to cut down on sugar (ya know, because we’re at that age where we have to watch what we eat and drink lol), I also take the Flat White or the Cocosugar flavors.
We used to carry Cafepino drinks in my husband’s now-defunct Hawaiian restaurant in Maginhawa Street in Quezon City (called Ahi Hawaii, and it was popular among college students and young professionals working in the area!), and the Cafepino coffee drinks were a crowd favorite.
Eco-sustainable gifts for the home (and for Gals at Home!)
Thanks to last year’s ECQ, I discovered zero-waste home hacks through the Buhay Zero-Waste Facebook group, and it opened up a rabbit hole of all the locally available eco-sustainable products I didn’t know had existed before the pandemic! Below are just some of my favorites from eco-friendly brands like Loop Store, The Eco Shift, Her Period Co., and Nala Woman.
Home goodies from Loop Store
The Loop Store offers a plethora of home items that you will definitely find useful, whether at home, at work, or on the go. What’s best is that most of these items are made of eco-sustainable materials; are reusable, nonplastic goods; and are great for anyone looking to reduce one’s negative impact on our earth.
Hair Care Products from The Eco Shift
For the longest time, throwing away plastic bottles from all the beauty products and bath toiletries bothered me. I wasn’t aware of any plastic recycling facility near my place of residence, so I didn’t know of any other alternative.
Enter The Eco Shift, which I also discovered through the Buhay Zero-Waste Facebook group. I’ve used their shampoo bars and conditioner bars (which I always use in tandem, as most shampoo bar brands tend to dry out my hair), and have passed on the practice to my kids too.
I started using it when the weather was still rather warm, but so far, my hair has been soft and agreeable most times, even when I don’t style or use any other hair products (I just comb with my wide-tooth comb after I shampoo at night).
A caveat: Shampoo bars tend to run out rather quickly, so I stock up around 3-5 bars at a time. But those tend to last me around 2-3 months. (A conditioner bar, on the other hand, lasts me more than a month.) And I love that I don’t have to throw away any plastic bottles when I’m done!
The Eco Shift has a Swap & Refill program too! Swap your used shampoo, conditioner , laundry plastic bottles (either 2 500ml or 1 1L bottle) to purchase their fabric conditioners, laundry soaps, liquid hand soap, dishwashing liquid, and even ethyl alcohol. Super useful gifts anyone would appreciate, especially these days!
Something for the eco-warrior femmes in your life, from Her Period Co and Nala Woman
Another thing that’s really made me feel guilty about all the waste I’ve accumulated throughout my entire life (well, at least from my pubescent years until now) is my use of disposable sanitary napkins.
For the longest time, I couldn’t wrap my head around reusable cloth napkins, because 1) I wasn’t sure if it would hold my usual heavy flow (sorry TMI for the male readers, if any), and 2) I felt…lazy.
I use it on my light-medium flow days, even when I go out of the house, and it’s held up so far!
On heavy-flow days, I still use disposable but biodegradable sanitary napkins from Nala Woman. I got a subscription from them, so that I can buy only enough for what I need for the month, and will automatically be notified before my time of the month to purchase my next stash.