Aaand, we’re back with our last-minute holiday gift guide! * cue fireworks *
Whenever the 4th quarter of the year rolls in, I always find myself shocked by the idea that the holidays are just around the corner. You know, when you realize the gift clock is ticking louder than expected?
[As a side note to my internationally based readers: Christmas season in the Philippines “starts” as soon as the -ber months—September, October—come in! Hence, why this is a “last-minute gift guide” 😁]
Every year, the gift hunt turns into a last-minute sprint. Not because of procrastination, but just because I’m caught up in trying to wrap up a zillion things before bidding the year goodbye.
And of course, let’s talk about budget. Year-end bonuses are our saving grace, sure, but for small businesses like me, when work is lean, so is the wallet. I know I should be saving for the holidays, but reality has a knack for diverting those savings to other pressing year-round needs.
Still, I enjoy giving gifts. In fact, I can probably say I enjoy giving more than receiving them. (Oh wow, I’m so mature? LOL.) More so when I’m giving away things that I found in my local community. There’s a kind of magic in supporting homegrown businesses and talents.
I usually have a bunch of accounts and posts that I’ve saved in my IG, my FB, and even links to local website shops. I guess you would say it’s the small-business owner in me. I know that behind those Insta grids and websites are regular folks hustling to make a living – just like you and me. It’s not just commerce; it’s a celebration of our local community’s talent and creativity, and support for someone else’s livelihood.
So, here’s to embracing the thrill of last-minute gift shopping, celebrating the uniqueness of our local treasures, and snagging delightfully handcrafted items that make the holiday season extra special. Time might be playing catch-up, but the joy of the hunt is always timeless.
Ready to dive into the last-minute gift guide? Let the adventure begin! 🎁
Fill your home with these gifts
Whether looking for things to give to your loved ones, family, besties—basically the important people in your life, these items are great to fill their homes with.
Handcrafted furniture from Casama Home
This is one investment of a gift that you can either give to yourself or to someone really special in your life (…like yourself?!). In case you’ve been looking for a corner chair for your reading nook, or one for your partner or kids, consider this rattan piece from Casama Home.
I love how this piece in itself attracts attention with its interesting form and shape, and at the same time provides texture that always adds a warm, cozy touch to any space.
Handwoven pots from Ennoble
How cute are these pots? Made from handwoven Abaca (a very popular Philippine-grown material), you can use these for indoor plants, or even as a catch-all.
Set of custom frames from Letters by Paul
Nothing beats seeing all your best family photos up on the wall in beautiful frames with matting.
Letters by Paul offers custom printing and framing with these special sets. Check them out on Instagram.
Paper mache decor from Likha+Mundo
I’m a sucker for beautifully styled shelves, and the paper mache decor from Likha+Mundo are so stunning, they look just like handmade pottery. I do think this is great if you have a household full of cats and kids like I do, (because I know for sure that’s one reason why I don’t have a lot of breakable pottery in my house!).
Wooden kitchenware from The Coleenary
Wooden kitchenware is a great way to elevate even the most humble tablescapes. What’s even better is that these kitchenware from The Coleenary are eco-friendly home products crafted by Filipino artisans. Check them out on Facebook.
Handmade decor and organizers from Magayon Handmade
I do love how woven items add interesting colors and textures to any space, and what a plus too that you can also use them as organizers and storage containers. The ones by Magayon Handmade are especially unique and colorful.
Gifts to please individual tastes
If it’s not home furnishings or decor you’re looking for, then these gifts might be a better fit for your own Santa sack.
Fun 2024 Calendars
Scented candles from Groodwood
Literary finds from Libreria Filipiniana
You should already know by now that I am a big book nerd. Libreria Filipiniana has been one of my go-to bookstores since the start of the pandemic. I am in love with their collection of Filipiniana literature, and particularly these ones that have a home and design theme. I have Salumpuwit in my own collection and it’s such an interesting, visual read! Another favorite book of mine from their store is By Sword and Fire, which is a gripping, historically chronological account of the liberation of Manila during World War II. It’s one that I treasure so much, I talk about it with anyone willing to listen. That’s how much I’m obsessed with it.
Funny and provocative read from Carlo Vergara (My Avenida)
If you haven’t heard of Zsazsa Zaturnnah yet…what rock have you been hiding under???Kidding aside, this is one of the few graphic novels that I have actually read (I admit, I haven’t read a lot of graphic novels), and it. is. funny. as. f**k.
I also used to work with Carlo Vergara, the author and illustrator, in my previous life as a magazine editor, and I am an avid fan of his work. So go over to My Avenida and get yourselves (and your friends and your neighbors, etc) a copy! Do know that the comic is entirely in Filipino, but if you don’t know the language, the art is worth collecting on its own!
Beautiful books for your kids from The Nook n Cranny PH
The first thing I saw from an Instagram ad, “A mother is a house”—of course that made me look! But everything in the pile made me want to get all. Fortunately (or unfortunately), my wallet can only get one. So maybe you can get the rest 😉
Custom quilled paper art from Quilling Essence PH
Here’s a unique, custom-made gift for your special someone (parent, partner, child, lover): quilled paper art from Quilling Essence PH.
Lovingly made by paper artist Ayen Gernandiso, these paper artworks can be customized to your preferred specifications. Just message her on Facebook for the elements you want to include, or you can also provide a photo she can use as reference.
Laptop coolers from Sustainably Made
My household uses laptops heavily—as in, heavily—and laptop coolers are a God-send. These beautiful wooden laptop coolers from SustainablyMade® allow your devices to breathe and cool down naturally, even during long hours of use. They’re made from sustainably farmed premium hardwood trees from the MARSSE Tropical Timber tree farm in Umingan, Pangasinan, Philippines, and come in a wenge finish. But I asked them for you if you can have it custom-finished in a different wood stain, and yes, you can! But just maybe not during the Christmas rush 😅
Vegan leather bags from Eve & Adam
I have long been salivating over these vegan leather handbags from Eve & Adam, and, well, they’re still on my wish list!
I love all their designs, but as a working mom, I’m partial to the big, carry-everything totes, like the Vera Carry-All tote, the Elle reversible tote, and OF COURSE, I love the Camilla tote *cough, cough*. Though I do think the Anika Baguette is hella cute.
Soda can tab bags from Project Katipuneras
If you’re wanting something a little shinier, go for these gorgeous soda can-tab bags from Project Katipuneras.
I love their chainmail-bag aesthetic, I love that they’re recycled from actual soda can tabs, and I would definitely wear this to a Christmas party or reunion this coming holiday season. Buy their stuff from here.
Shop for a cause from the Golden Bekis
I am partial to seniors, and also to LGBTQ advocates, so the advocacy of the Golden Bekis is something I’d throw support to in a heartbeat.
They’re bazaar regulars all over Metro Manila, and they currently sell LGBTQ-inspired totes, pouches, artwork, and semi-precious jewelry made by their “loving community mostly consisting of elderly gays in the Philippines.” They sell these to crowdfound more products they eventually want to include in an online Golden Bekis shop, which will feature products made by members of their community. Know more about them here.
Gifts for learning something new
Of course I’m not going to let this holiday gift guide go by without mentioning that Gal at Home also has its own online shop. But instead of physical products (maybe someday soon?), we have digital offers that will help you (or someone you want to gift this with) learn how to plan your own space, or style your own home.
Online courses or programs
This is a comprehensive homestyling course that aims to help you create a home you’ll enjoy living in. With a combo of video, audio, and slide presentations, plus downloadable worksheets, transcripts, and resources to help you style your home the way design pros do it. More details here.
The Homestyling Vault is a treasure trove of all the downloadable homestyling resources I’ve ever created, and which you can use for styling your home. Perfect for DIYers, those on a budget, and those willing to get their hands “dirty” when it comes to styling and fixing up their own homes. Learn more about the Vault here.
We’ve taken the same processes we use in our eDesign services and turned them into an extensive program of on-demand lessons, with mentorship and a dedicated community, to help you execute your home project without confusion and overwhelm. Get the Space-Planning Blueprint here.
Online design services and consultations
If you’re thinking of someone needing a semi Done-For-You design package for their home, then you can gift someone with any of our eDesign services. They get design concepts, color palettes, furniture and light plans, 3D renderings, and a shopping list—all at a fraction of our full interior design service rates. Choose from our eDesign menu here.
This is a 1-hour online design consultation via Zoom. Great for when you need to discuss ideas about a home renovation, or if you just need advice on how to fix up your space, arrange your furniture, or spruce up your home with decor. Book a call here.
And that's a (gift) wrap!
Pardon the un-funny lines, but that is it for my last-minute holiday gift guide! Anything on this list that caught your eye, made you think of someone?
I’ll be honest, I thought mostly of myself But being me, I know I’ll just feel super guilty if I bought everything on this list for me. And also, I’m not that rich. Just rich in love and lots of ideas.
Do let me know in the comments below which one is your favorite!
Featured image by Lucie Liz/Pexels.com. Pinterest cover graphic image by Liza Summer/Pexels.com. Ennoble photos from Ennoble PH. Quilled paper art photos from Ayen Gernandiso. Soda can-tab bag photos from Project Katipuneras.